Risk Management in the UK: The Case of Brent Spar

  • Ragnar E. Löfstedt


This case study examines the communication and management strategy of both Shell and the British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during the proposed dumping of the redundant oil storage buoy, Brent Spar, in the North Sea in the spring of 1995, and its occupation by Greenpeace demonstrators. A technocratic form of risk management was used, with virtually no involvement of the public or special interest groups in the policy-making process. In addition, a top-down form of risk communication strategy was put in place rather than a dialogue form. It is an example of an unsuccessful technocratic approach. Both in the UK and elsewhere the public sided with Greenpeace against the DTI and Shell. These results, however, are not particularly surprising. Following a series of scandals running from salmonella in eggs to mad cow disease, the British public has little trust in government regulators or of industry as a whole.1


Risk Management Civil Servant Special Interest Group Public Trust British Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Ragnar E. Löfstedt 2005

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  • Ragnar E. Löfstedt

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