Globalization and Multi-Level Governance

Project 1: Multi-Level Governance of Emerging Technologies

Kirsten Rodine-Hardy, Lead PI; Christopher Bosso and Jennifer Nash, co-PIs

Overarching focus: What do we understand about the institutional capacity and regulatory styles of federal systems, supranational regimes, and international institutions that shape the governance of the environmental effects of emerging technologies? This project focuses on challenges to effective and responsive environmental governance posed by the emergence of a wide array of novel nanotechnologies in the global marketplace. It engages a range of scholarly perspectives on environmental governance in North American, European, and international contexts, with authors focusing on overarching lessons obtained from decades of regulatory response to the environmental and health effects of earlier technologies (e.g., synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms). In doing so, the project utilizes and expands on the theoretical framework of multilevel governance and inform policy discussions concerning the governance of emerging technologies.

Project 2: Governing Nano in a Globalized World: Cross-National Dimensions and Strategic Assessments of a Disruptive Technology

Naval Supply Fleet Logistics Center, U.S. Navy, N00244-13-1-0029; 2013-2014

Kirsten Rodine-Hardy, Lead PI

This project aims to develop grounded theoretical arguments about security threats and governance challenges posed by nanotechnology. Empirically, the project proposes a preliminary cross-national analysis of the threats to and opportunities for U.S. national security and economic prosperity from commercial and military nanotechnologies, divergent strategic policies on nanotechnology development, and institutions for regulation and governance of nanotechnology in the U.S., European Union, Russia, China, and Brazil.

Research Plan: The goals of this project are to enhance 1) our theoretical and conceptual understanding of the intertwined nature of national and international governance and security challenges of disruptive technologies, and 2) our empirical knowledge of contemporary nanotechnology efforts underway across the globe. To accomplish these goals, Dr. Rodine-Hardy and her project staff will conduct preliminary research and literature reviews, as well as brief case studies that assess the literatures in light of data collected on U.S., European Union, Russia, China, and Brazil. The project team and collaborators will meet twice in 2013 and also present their preliminary findings to a broader community of experts at Northeastern University. The final report will address multiple themes as described in the technical proposal.

Public Benefit: The direct public purpose of this research is anticipated to be new public knowledge of anticipated or emerging threats and technologies that have the significant potential to affect strategic stability.

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