Rationalization, Privatization, Invisibilization? On Some Hidden Dimensions of the Transnationalization of Occupational Health and Traffic Safety Policies
Bernardin, S.; Henry, Emmanuel (2020), Rationalization, Privatization, Invisibilization? On Some Hidden Dimensions of the Transnationalization of Occupational Health and Traffic Safety Policies, in Erik Neveu, Muriel Surdez, Springer International Publishing : Berlin Heidelberg, p. 187-209
Book authorErik Neveu, Muriel Surdez
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Abstract (FR)There is a risk in considering international problems as different a priori from national problems—the risk of underestimating some important processes at play in the day-to-day practices of bureaucrats and actors directly involved in the policy process. This text builds on this assumption to shed new light on the internationalization of public problems. It focuses on the two cases of traffic safety and occupational health to highlight a process of rationalization which developed over decades, long before any international organization took charge of either of these issues. The analysis shows how technical reasoning structured the debates that took place later on, to finally prove beneficial to industry. It helps to understand some of the difficulties that unions and victims’ organizations currently have to call for a redefinition of the problems related to occupational health and traffic safety. Indeed, it highlights how those issues tend to get a low degree of visibility from the media, and finally lose political salience at national level. The problems do not become totally invisible to the public, but they are dealt with on the margins of public spaces, most often by specialized professional groups, from public health scientists to engineers. This analysis opens new research perspectives to critically examine not only the routines of actors evolving in international arenas, but also the social processes through which an issue becomes (in-)visible and (un-)debatable: when, how, and for whom.
Subjects / KeywordsTransnational issues; Public problems; Experts and expertise; Traffic safety; Occupational health
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