References of "Rossignol, Nicolas"
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See detailMeanings and practices of learning from incidents: a social constructivist perspective of incident reporting systems
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Hommels, Anique

in Technology Analysis & Strategic Management (in press)

Incident reporting systems (IRSs) are used in many organisations as tools that promote safety by allowing to collectively learn from incidents. In this paper, we propose a social constructivist approach ... [more ▼]

Incident reporting systems (IRSs) are used in many organisations as tools that promote safety by allowing to collectively learn from incidents. In this paper, we propose a social constructivist approach to learning from incidents, in which the focus is not purely on safety, but on the technology of incident reporting itself. We employ Wiebe Bijker’s work on the Social Construction of Technology to open up the analysis of a specific IRS in use at the Belgian Nuclear Research Center. For this purpose, we carried out 28 interviews with key local actors and collected documents and observation notes. Such social constructivist perspective provides detailed insight into the practices of reporting and the meanings of learning from incidents. Our research shows that various actors within the organisation frame the IRS differently. These framings each have their own implications for the vulnerability of the organisation. [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 detailRevers lifté et coup droit "à plat" : le (néo)libéralisme en débat
Delvenne, Pierre ULg; Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

Article for general public (2016)

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See detailGérer l’Etat belge, pas la S.A. Belgique
Delvenne, Pierre ULg; Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

Article for general public (2016)

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See detailOn Vulnerability and Vulnerabilities of Incident Reporting
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

This PhD thesis – composed of a series of five papers tied together by an introduction and conclusions – explores the functioning of an Incident Reporting System used in a high-risk organization. It aims ... [more ▼]

This PhD thesis – composed of a series of five papers tied together by an introduction and conclusions – explores the functioning of an Incident Reporting System used in a high-risk organization. It aims at understanding how safety is actually constructed by and through this reporting system and what it actually does to the meaning of safety when it prescribes a set of sociotechnical practices. From a conceptual point of view, this PhD thesis departs from classical risk or vulnerability analyses which tend to measure factors in order to produce what are supposed to be “objective” results and “manageable” recommendations for decision makers. By relying on a constructivist understanding of vulnerability, this research explores and characterizes situations and events the consequences of which are ambiguous and the probabilities of which are uncertain. It thus broadens the scope of classical risk or vulnerability analyses and complements it with a qualitative and discourse-based attention to organizational, cultural and ethical questions. [less ▲]

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See detailGetting on Board but How? Conflicting Perspectives on the Role of the Social Sciences and Humanities in Radiation Protection
Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg; Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Perko, Tanja et al

Conference (2016, March 14)

In Europe, science research policy is predicated on the understanding that science and technology (S&T) serve societal needs. Accordingly, European Framework Programs urge scientists and technologists to ... [more ▼]

In Europe, science research policy is predicated on the understanding that science and technology (S&T) serve societal needs. Accordingly, European Framework Programs urge scientists and technologists to give due attention to societal and ethical aspects of S&T, and to engage with social scientists and humanists when doing research and reaching out to society. Starting from these policy prescriptions and from invitations from befriended life scientists to "get on board," we explore the terms of our involvement as social scientists and humanists in a European Joint Program on radiation protection research (EJP-CONCERT). We illuminate recurring tensions between instrumental, normative, and substantive perspectives on the role of the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in radioprotection research and nuclear S&T. Our aim is to shed light on the controversial and contingent nature of integrating SSH into nuclear S&T, as actors articulate divergent assumptions and expectations about SSH and society. These expectations pertain to the value of SSH research for S&T, issues of trust and legitmacy, and different perspectives on risk and uncertainty. By rendering these tensions explicit we seek to probe the implications for SSH of developing a separate SSH Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) within radiation protection research. [less ▲]

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See detailScience, technology and society: opening pathways for integrating social sciences and humanities into nuclear research
Turcanu, Catrinel; Meskens, Gaston; Perko, Tanja et al

Poster (2016, February 11)

The PISA programme was initiated in 1999 within the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN to study the societal, political, cultural and ethical aspects of the development and use of nuclear technology ... [more ▼]

The PISA programme was initiated in 1999 within the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN to study the societal, political, cultural and ethical aspects of the development and use of nuclear technology and applications of ionising radiation. The programme was launched as the result of an internal reflection acknowledging that insights from social sciences and humanities were required to better explore normative concepts such as precaution and sustainable development, and to understand attitudes towards nuclear technologies and its governance. This presentation elaborates on the objectives of PISA and its main research tracks. It shows that through its multi-disciplinary approach, the PISA programme of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN opens pathways towards such integration, and thus contributes to rendering nuclear research more reflective and more responsive towards society. It explicates the interactions between science, technology and society, in general, and the complexity of nuclear technology assessment, in particular. Last, but not least, due do its reflexive character, PISA research creates an epistemologically and socially enriching dynamic in the organisation itself. [less ▲]

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See detailNew ventures in nuclear emergency planning and response: a governance perspective
Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg; Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Turcanu, Catrinel

Poster (2016, February 11)

Emergency and disaster management is structured by the complex interaction of natural, social, and technological factors, and contingent on features of culture and organization. Our research serves to ... [more ▼]

Emergency and disaster management is structured by the complex interaction of natural, social, and technological factors, and contingent on features of culture and organization. Our research serves to highlight how these features come into play and shape emergency planning, anticipation, and response. Based on qualitative and quantitative analyses, we devise more resilient, responsive, and adaptive emergency policies for implicated stakeholders (e.g. policymakers, emergency services, regulators) and society at large. Our research foci include citizen science initiatives and stakeholder forums on contaminated goods in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima accident. Our methods are grounded in vulnerability analysis, which accepts that vulnerability is an inherent trait of contemporary societies. [less ▲]

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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 (2016), 85

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 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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