'Governing' nanotechnology without government?

Diana M. Bowman, Graeme A. Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The increasing commercialisation of products containing nanomaterials has been accompanied by growing societal concerns. These concerns have underpinned a debate over the degree to which governments should specifically 'govern' or regulate nanotechnology. This paper examines the way in which the private sector is developing innovative regulatory arrangements for nanotechnology. It commences with a theoretical review of potential regulatory tools, and then discusses how two multinational companies are developing their own regulatory mechanisms to guide the responsible development of nanotechnology. It concludes that whilst governments will no doubt play a crucial role in the regulation of the technology, nano-specific state-based regulation will probably only constitute part of an evolving regulatory web.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-487
Number of pages13
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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