The 'Precautionary Principle' has sparked the central controversy over European and U.S. risk regulation. The Reality of Precaution is the most comprehensive study to go beyond precaution as an abstract principle and test its reality in practice. This groundbreaking resource combines detailed case studies of a wide array of risks to health, safety, environment and security; a broad quantitative analysis; and cross-cutting chapters on politics, law, and perceptions. The authors rebut the rhetoric of conflicting European and American approaches to risk, and show that the reality has been the selective application of precaution to particular risks on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as a constructive exchange of policy ideas toward 'better regulation.' The book offers a new view of precaution, regulatory reform, comparative analysis, and transatlantic relations.

part I|35 pages


chapter 1|33 pages

The Rhetoric of Precaution

part II|164 pages

Case Studies of Relative Precaution Regarding specific Risks

chapter 9|22 pages

Biodiversity Conservation

chapter 10|34 pages


part III|54 pages

Precaution in Risk Information Systems

part IV|34 pages

A Broader Empirical Test of Relative Precautions

part VI|49 pages


chapter 20|47 pages

The Real Pattern of Precaution