Values, Interests and Symbolic Politics in a Nuclear Waste Disposal Debate

About the societal dimensions of risk perception
  • Pal Tamas
  • A. VÁri
Part of the NATO Science book series (NAII, volume 112)


In Hungary, as in other parts of the industrial world the nuclear waste debate and in more general terms the controversy about national energy scenarios of the future — with its ups and downs — is part of the public opinion’s involvement in technology policy making. The arguments and methods used to guide this debate in the last 15 years changed significantly. The basic tools used in environmental problem solving were restructured and the values interpreted as system of reference were re-designed by the social and political transformation in the country in this period. We will present some empirical findings of 2 surveys provided in 2001 demonstrating the changing attitudes to those elements of public risk perception which are mostly political [relations to the state as a neutral controller of private industry, trust issues towards the “big enterprises”, the role of experts and knowledge distribution mechanisms, controversies of local and national interests, partnerships for “green” politics].


Environmental Problem General Term Risk Perception Empirical Finding Waste Disposal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pal Tamas
    • 1
  • A. VÁri
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of SociologyHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary

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