References of "Rossignol, Nicolas"
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See detailSafety in Long Term Radioactive Waste Management: Insight and Oversight
Schröder, Jantine; Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg

in Safety Science (in press)

High-level, long-lived radioactive waste remains hazardous for periods that go well beyond our human conception of time (many thousands of years). Because active safety measures are considered unreliable ... [more ▼]

High-level, long-lived radioactive waste remains hazardous for periods that go well beyond our human conception of time (many thousands of years). Because active safety measures are considered unreliable, unjustifiable and simply impossible over such long time spans, experts worldwide recommend geological disposal as the preferred strategy for long-term radioactive waste management, to a large extent due to its promise of delivering ‘passive safety’. Passive safety refers to the repository being safe ‘by itself’, i.e. unmediated by human actors and actions. Safety is thus approached technically and delineated as an intrinsic property of the disposal system. As such, the notion of 'passive safety' entails a system simplification that allows for approaching safety in a more calculable and predictable manner than would be the case for 'active safety'. In this article, we describe and analyze the ambiguity of this seemingly straightforward approach to safety. Drawing on constructivist insights from safety science and science and technology studies, we propose a more integrated sociotechnical vision that transcends the active versus passive safety division. The notion of 'oversight', as it is currently starting to surface in international radioactive waste management discourses, will be used as a sensitizing concept, offering potential to elaborate such an integrated vision. [less ▲]

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See detailEpreuves de crédibilité du "citoyen-expert" dans un processus décisionnel. "Il peut", "il sait", "il argumente"
Parotte, Céline ULg; Piet, Grégory; Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

in Fourniau, Jean-Michel; Neveu, Catherine; Monnoyer-Smith, Laurence (Eds.) Démocratie, pour quoi faire? (in press)

Si les mécanismes de démocratie participative sont de plus en plus souvent convoqués au cœur de nos systèmes de démocratie représentative (Sintomer, Blondiaux, 2002), devons-nous considérer de facto que ... [more ▼]

Si les mécanismes de démocratie participative sont de plus en plus souvent convoqués au cœur de nos systèmes de démocratie représentative (Sintomer, Blondiaux, 2002), devons-nous considérer de facto que le citoyen a une influence dans le processus décisionnel? La participation est-elle le moyen de rendre légitime le rôle et le poids du citoyen dans le processus décisionnel ou a contrario est-elle un moyen supplémentaire pour l’autorité publique de renforcer la légitimité de son action, indépendamment des attentes du citoyen ? Si ce dernier n’était pas légitime, pourrait-il être crédible ? Sur base d’une analyse comparative de cinq conflits d’implantation, nous établirons que, d’une part, l’impératif délibératif (Sintomer, Blondiaux, 2002) est traversé par une logique d’action symbolique envers le citoyen (autrement dit, légitimer le processus par sa présence) et une logique d’intérêts des acteurs, en particulier, l’autorité publique. Confronter à cette double logique, nous proposerons de mettre en exergue les différentes formes d’appropriation de la participation par le citoyen [less ▲]

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See detailSiting Controversies Analysis: Framework and Method for Questioning the Procedure
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Parotte, Céline ULg; Joris, Geoffrey ULg et al

in Journal of Risk Research (in press)

Siting controversies are commonplace, as well against the construction of roads, railways, nuclear waste disposals, as against windfarms. Local citizens resist against siting decisions taken by the ... [more ▼]

Siting controversies are commonplace, as well against the construction of roads, railways, nuclear waste disposals, as against windfarms. Local citizens resist against siting decisions taken by the authorities, following a dynamics often quoted as ‘Not In My Back Yard’. Yet contested for its lack of analytical value, NIMBY is still used strategically by actors to qualify citizens as irrational and egoistic. Beyond this labelling, many factors are investigated to understand the dynamics behind siting controversies. In this paper, we focus on the impact of the legal procedure structuring the implantation of windfarms in the Walloon Region (Belgium), and its translations within different decision making processes in specific case studies. To that regard, we consider the legal procedure as a ‘public policy instrument’. It is neither neutral nor natural, and carry values and interests. It organizes inter-personal relations between actors, and is potentially catalyzer of frustrations. In addition, this legal procedure is the object of translations within different contexts, including different actors participating to specific decision making processes. The empirical approach of this paper is based on case studies data and on the use of an innovative methodology called ‘Open Process Workshop’. This methodology consists in a structured workshop with key stakeholders, during which the legal procedure is questioned. Overall, we demonstrate that the focus on the legal procedure - and its translations within different decision making processes - allows systemic analysis providing deep understandings of controversies and reaffirming the interlinks between ‘the social’ and ‘the technical’ in such controversies. In addition, we argue that the methodology used fosters the production of innovative knowledge, mutual understanding and collective learning between the participants. [less ▲]

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See detail“How are you Vulnerable?”: Using Participation for Vulnerability Analysis in Emergency Planning
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Turcanu, Catrinel; Fallon, Catherine ULg et al

in Journal of Risk Research (in press)

Scientists in many fields of research have developed models, theories and concepts attempting to grasp and manage dangers that are often difficult to imagine. Among the different perspectives, the Science ... [more ▼]

Scientists in many fields of research have developed models, theories and concepts attempting to grasp and manage dangers that are often difficult to imagine. Among the different perspectives, the Science and Technology Studies (STS) Vulnerability Approach seems very promising. Relying on a constructivist paradigm, it is based on an inductive collection and analysis of a wide range of factors, with a particular focus on cultural factors and actual day-to-day practices. In this paper, we present the roots of this approach and we display findings based on three case studies exploring emergency planning in three different contexts (a city near a SEVESO plant, a school near a nuclear plant, and a city confronted to multiple catastrophic scenarios). The cases studies were realized by conducting three Focus Groups with different types of stakeholders (citizens, teachers, firemen, decision makers, etc.). After presenting the results of the case studies, we discuss how stakeholders’ participation can inform such type of vulnerability analysis in the context of emergency planning. We argue that participation fosters a deep understanding of actual safety governance practices which allows innovative results to emerge as well as it initiates a learning process among the participants. It contributes to questioning the relations between decision-makers, experts and citizens. It has the potential of bypassing the positivist and quantitative rationale of safety, and thus, of redefining the vulnerability governance. As a conclusion, we question the role of such STS vulnerability approach within the actual vulnerability governance. [less ▲]

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See detailLike a bridge over troubled water – opening pathways for integrating social sciences and humanities into nuclear research
Turcanu, Catrinel; Schröder, Jantine; Meskens, Gaston et al

in Journal of Environmental Radioactivity (2016), 153

Research on nuclear technologies has been largely driven by a detachment of the 'technical content' from the 'social context'. However, social studies of science and technology - also for the nuclear ... [more ▼]

Research on nuclear technologies has been largely driven by a detachment of the 'technical content' from the 'social context'. However, social studies of science and technology - also for the nuclear domain – emphasize that 'the social' and 'the technical' dimensions of technology development are inter-related and co-produced. In an effort to create links between nuclear research and innovation and society in mutually beneficial ways, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre started fifteen years ago a ‘Programme of Integration of Social Aspects into nuclear research’ (PISA). In line with broader science-policy agendas (responsible research and innovation and technology assessment), this paper argues that the importance of such programmes is threefold. First, their multi-disciplinary basis and participatory character contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between science, technology and society, in general, and the complexity of nuclear technology assessment in particular. Second, their functioning as (self )critical policy supportive research with outreach to society is an essential prerequisite for policies aiming at generating societal trust in the context of controversial issues related to nuclear technologies and exposure to ionising radiation. Third, such programmes create an enriching dynamic in the organisation itself, stimulating collective learning and transdisciplinarity. The paper illustrates with concrete examples these claims and concludes by discussing some key challenges that researchers face while engaging in work of this kind. [less ▲]

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See detailMediating science, technology, and society at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK/CEN through hybrid management: The case of PISA
Schröder, Jantine; Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg; Rossignol, Nicolas ULg et al

Conference (2015, October 16)

Despite growing recognition that the technical and social dimensions of technology development are coproduced, research and policymaking in the nuclear field is still predicated on the separation between ... [more ▼]

Despite growing recognition that the technical and social dimensions of technology development are coproduced, research and policymaking in the nuclear field is still predicated on the separation between both dimensions. This paper explores how this separation is enacted, and occasionally questioned and transformed, within the Belgian context of nuclear technology. It situates the emergence of a science policy support (SPS) unit and programme (PISA) within the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN as an institutional response to the need of integrating societal and ethical concerns into nuclear research. The paper elicits how since 1999, SPS/PISA draws together science and technology studies (STS) and technology assessment (TA) approaches, creating links between nuclear research innovation and society in mutually beneficial ways. To this end, it first outlines the four areas in which SPS/PISA researchers are active: 1. Ethics of nuclear technology assessment; 2. Radioactive waste management; 3. Safety governance; 4. Perception and communication of ionising radiation risks. As SPS/PISA research is situated in a trading zone that embeds scholarship, nuclear research and research policy, the paper illuminates the growing entanglement of the natural and social sciences, and the roles social scientists play in the development of contemporary technologies and technology policy. Drawing on the notion of hybrid management (Miller 2001), the paper argues that SPS/PISA researchers must develop a language that underlines the interdependency between science, policy, and politics, while acknowledging that actors (policymakers, industry representatives, natural and social scientists, citizens) recurrently draw distinctions between these domains as a means of collectively managing nuclear issues. SPS/PISA research is therefore best understood as boundary work that mediates between various interests, values, and "knowledges." The paper concludes by discussing the key challenges SPS/PISA researchers face while engaging in work of this kind: maintaining professional independence and credibility, ensuring research continuity, and generating both scientific and policy impacts. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Social (Re)construction of an Incident Reporting System: Opening-up, Closing-down, Starting over
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

Conference (2015, June)

The literature on incident reporting generally describes Incident Reporting Systems (IRS) as technological tools aiming at improving safety in organizations by initiating a learning process from previous ... [more ▼]

The literature on incident reporting generally describes Incident Reporting Systems (IRS) as technological tools aiming at improving safety in organizations by initiating a learning process from previous events, in order to prevent future incidents and accidents to occur. In this respect, many studies tend to focus on “barriers to reporting” in order to understand why people report (or not) incidents in the dedicated system. Alternatively, we proposed to study IRS as socio-technical artifacts which are embedded in a specific organizational culture and which are interpreted in different ways, illustrating what has been called “interpretive flexibility”. This communication is divided in two parts. First, relying on the Social Construction Of Technology (SCOT) framework, we present the different practices and meanings attributed to the reporting of incidents within the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK•CEN). We link these to the various modes of learning that they enable. By doing so we participate to the opening-up of the research on Incident Reporting to alternative discourses, practices and meanings, unforeseen situations and uncertainties. Second, we present the preliminary results of creative workshops during which we initiated the participatory re-construction of the IRS within the Center, drawing on and extending the results of the “opening-up” phase. By doing so, we aim at contributing to a transparent realization of the reduction of complexity leading to an informed and collective decision on what could/should be the IRS of the Center. In conclusion, we propose a reflexive analysis of this process, and we formulate tentative future research directions. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalyse des Politiques Publiques. L'implantation d'éoliennes en Région Wallonne
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Parotte, Céline ULg; Fallon, Catherine ULg

Learning material (2015)

Ce présentation vise à illustrer un cas pratique de politique publique: les projets d'implantation de parcs éoliens.

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See detailStudying Safety Culture of/at SCK-CEN: Approaches and Results
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

Scientific conference (2015, March 09)

This presentation addresses the way "safety culture" has become an object of knowledge overtime, and how it has been understood, evaluated and eventually measured. After these general considerations, we ... [more ▼]

This presentation addresses the way "safety culture" has become an object of knowledge overtime, and how it has been understood, evaluated and eventually measured. After these general considerations, we go through specific aspects of SCK•CEN's safety culture analysis, and see how quantitative methods (for example questionnaires) might be fruitfully combined with qualitative methods (such as interviews) in order to understand at best how SCK•CEN employees act with regard to safety. In this respect, a specific focus will be given to the REX system (the incident reporting system used at SCK•CEN) [less ▲]

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See detailSolidarities and Learning: Reporting Incidents in a Nuclear Research Center
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

Scientific conference (2015, February 23)

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See detailLa question de l'acceptabilité sociale dans des projets du SPIRAL
Delvenne, Pierre ULg; Parotte, Céline ULg; Rossignol, Nicolas ULg et al

Scientific conference (2015, February 19)

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See detailPractices of Incident Reporting in a Nuclear Research Center: A Question of Solidarity
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

in Safety Science (2015), 80

Incident reporting is usually considered as an effective means to improve the safety of “at risk” socio-technical systems (e.g. nuclear plants, large industrial facilities, hospitals), as it allows ... [more ▼]

Incident reporting is usually considered as an effective means to improve the safety of “at risk” socio-technical systems (e.g. nuclear plants, large industrial facilities, hospitals), as it allows implicated actors to learn from past incidents. Safety could thus be enhanced via the use of an institutionalized Incident Reporting System (IRS), enabling organizations to improve the quality of actions and reactions in case of a deviation from normality, or to prevent such deviations from happening in the first place. Yet, there is a lack of inductive analyses of actual, on-site uses of IRS. In this paper, we address this gap, using the results of 28 semi-structured interviews conducted with agents from the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK•CEN). The study relies on a vulnerability-oriented Science and Technology Studies (STS) approach. Our results show that practices of incident reporting are more varied than the institutionalized ones. Indeed, actual reporting practices are to be related to specific expressions of solidarity between colleagues within a negotiated drift – a pragmatic interpretation of the reporting procedure. These results are discussed in a vulnerability-oriented perspective. Overall, the paper displays a grounded analysis of incident reporting practices which may contribute to a better understanding of how safety is co-constructed by workers, and provides opportunities for further research and concrete path of actions for practitioners. [less ▲]

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See detailRethinking Vulnerability Analysis and Governance with Emphasis on a Participatory Approach
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Delvenne, Pierre ULg; Turcanu, Catrinel

in Risk Analysis : An Official Publication of the Society for Risk Analysis (2015), 35(1), 129-141

This paper draws on vulnerability analysis as it emerged as a complement to classical risk analysis, and it aims at exploring its ability of nurturing risk and vulnerability governance actions. An ... [more ▼]

This paper draws on vulnerability analysis as it emerged as a complement to classical risk analysis, and it aims at exploring its ability of nurturing risk and vulnerability governance actions. An analysis of the literature on vulnerability analysis allows us to formulate a threefold critique: first, vulnerability analysis has been treated separately in the natural and the technological hazards fields. This separation prevents vulnerability to unleash the full range of its potential, as it constraints appraisals into artificial categories and thus already closes down the outcomes of the analysis. Second, vulnerability analysis focused on assessment tools that are mainly quantitative, whereas qualitative appraisal is a key to assessing vulnerability in a comprehensive way and to informing policy-making. Third, a systematic literature review of case studies reporting on participatory approaches to vulnerability analysis allows us to argue that participation has been important to address the above, but it remains too closed down in its approach and would benefit from embracing a more open, encompassing perspective. Therefore, we suggest rethinking vulnerability analysis as one part of a dynamic process between opening-up and closing-down strategies, in order to support a vulnerability governance framework. [less ▲]

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See detailSafety Governance in Practice: A Vulnerability Approach
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

Scientific conference (2014, October 23)

Scientists in many fields of research have developed models, theories and concepts attempting to grasp and manage dangers that are often difficult to concretely imagine. Their final objective is to ... [more ▼]

Scientists in many fields of research have developed models, theories and concepts attempting to grasp and manage dangers that are often difficult to concretely imagine. Their final objective is to maintain or improve the safety of the system considered. In this respect, the risk-based and the vulnerability-based approaches are different, yet complementary. After presenting the main forms taken by vulnerability approaches in the scientific literature, we elaborate on the potential of “opening-up” such an analysis through the use of a Science and Technology Studies (STS) vulnerability-based approach. We then present results from case studies concerning emergency planning, on the one hand, and an analysis of the perception of the REX system of SCK•CEN, on the other hand. We demonstrate how such an approach contributes to shed light on under-explored aspects of safety and provides a nuanced perspective on actual safety practices. As a conclusion, we propose further work directions to be followed. [less ▲]

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See detail'What is an incident?': Conceptual Boundaries under the Microscope
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

Scientific conference (2014, September 04)

Within the context of a nuclear facility, how can an event be qualified as an incident or not, depending on different definitions, either formal or corresponding to actors' own representations? In this ... [more ▼]

Within the context of a nuclear facility, how can an event be qualified as an incident or not, depending on different definitions, either formal or corresponding to actors' own representations? In this presentation, we show how different those definitions are, and we elaborate on the reasons why such a focus on conceptual boundaries is interesting in the context of "incident reporting". [less ▲]

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See detailFormal Incident Reporting System: Putting Solidarity on Trial
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Claisse, Frédéric ULg

Conference (2014, September)

The practice of “incident reporting” is commonly recognized as an effective mean to reduce the vulnerability of “at risk” socio-technical systems (e.g. nuclear plants, large industrial facilities or ... [more ▼]

The practice of “incident reporting” is commonly recognized as an effective mean to reduce the vulnerability of “at risk” socio-technical systems (e.g. nuclear plants, large industrial facilities or hospitals), as it allow the concerned community to learn from past incidents. Indeed, it is assumed that collective resilience will be upgraded via the use of institutionalized Incident Reporting System (IRS), enabling the organization to improve the quality of the actions and reactions in case of deviation from normality, or to prevent such deviation. Yet, inductive analysis of what happens with those IRS in practice are not numerous. In this paper, we address this gap and display the results of semi-structured interviews conducted in a nuclear facility. During those interviews, participants were also requested to produce a mind map of the IRS they are concerned with. As a result, we show that safety is a matter of solidarities that are situated in specific contexts. To that regard, incident reporting is a practice of decomposition and recomposition of trusts and thus of solidarities. Reporting incidents consists in putting solidarity on trial, as the collective safety was threatened. We show that such open trial is often avoided because questioning solidarities is not always desirable in order to allow the group to continue functioning. Overall, we argue that informal reporting behaviors can also contribute to upgrade collective resilience without putting solidarities on trial. [less ▲]

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See detailRepresentations of Incident Reporting as a Collective Learning Process
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Turcanu, Catrinel

Conference (2014, June)

In the context of vulnerability analysis, it is now widely aknowledged that social factors should be taken into account, alongside technical ones. Depending on the particular approach adopted, these ... [more ▼]

In the context of vulnerability analysis, it is now widely aknowledged that social factors should be taken into account, alongside technical ones. Depending on the particular approach adopted, these social factors are considered to influence “coping capacities”, “adaptive capacities” or “resilience”. The ability of a socio-technical system to learn from past incidents and accidents seems to have a positive influence on its vulnerability, as it increases its capacity to adapt properly in case of future unwanted envents. To that regard, incident reporting systems are of first importance as they are supposed to constitute a collective memory of past incidents, to initiate a collective share of information and to foster collective learning and adapations. Yet, the theoretical assumptions about the ability of a reporting system to imply collective learning have still to be demonstrated. This paper proposes a methodology addressing this issue. To do so, we conduct a number of semi-structured interviews in a nuclear facility with various types of actors (managers, lab responsibles, technical workers), and in different risk contexts. In addition, participants are requested to produce a mental map of the reporting system they are concerned with. These inputs are then analyzed following a “cross-case analysis” procedure in order to identify patterns of actors' representations of the reporting system, and to link these patterns to potential learning processes fostered by the system. This constitutes the first step of an inductive research process aiming to identify and characterize the link between reporting systems and collective learning. In the next steps, the link between the identified patterns of representations and collective learning processes will be tested quantitatively. The final aim being to elaborate ways to improve Incident Reporting Systems to improve collective learning. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst conclusions from the Belgian stakeholder panel: FP 7 PREPARE, WG 3 “Consumer Goods”
Turcanu, Catrinel; Olyslaegers, Geert; Camps, Johan et al

Conference (2014, May)

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