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When failure is an option: redundancy, reliability and regulation in complex technical systems

Downer, John (2009) When failure is an option: redundancy, reliability and regulation in complex technical systems. CARR Discussion Papers, DP 53. Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 9780853283959

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Abstract

This paper argues that redundancy in engineering, should be understood as a 'design paradigm' that frames regulatory assessments and interpretations of all complex technical systems, profoundly shaping decisions and judgements about modern technologies. It will further argue that the 'redundancy paradigm' used by regulators contains epistemic ambiguities that lead to imperfect predictions about the effects of redundancy in practice. By deconstructing the logic of redundancy in relation to aviation regulation, this paper illuminates much wider issues about technology governance.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/CARR
Additional Information: © 2009 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: H - Public Economics > H0 - General
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: DP 53
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2011 09:53
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36537/

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