There exist many principles and methods for guiding investment decisions on safety and security. Some of the most important are cost-benefit analyses, multi-attribute analyses, expected utility theory, the portfolio theory, the cautionary (including the p recautionary) principle and the ALARP principle.
However, the rationale and interactions of these principles and methods to support societal safety and security decisions are not sufficiently understood, and we plan to meet this challenge by an intern ational research project, as defined by the project goals. Some of the key hypotheses we will analyse are:
·The use of cost-benefit analysis based on expected net present values is not adequate to determine the right level of investments in safety an d security.
· The portfolio theory is not adequate to guide decision investments in safety and security.
· The cost-benefit analysis based on expected net present values and the cautionary principle (and in particular the ALARP principle) are not consist ent.
· Pre-defined risk acceptance criteria do not provide an adequate basis for guiding decisions on risk and uncertainty.
A new dimension of the research is obtained by considering a broad perspective on risk, reflecting both potential consequenc es and associated uncertainties. This perspective provides new insights by providing a framework for formulating the rationale for investments in safety and security and at the same time being consistent with the economic risk tradition where risk is expr essed as uncertainty. The research also provides a new perspective by drawing attention to the cautionary principle.
The research group is composed of several internationally recognised experts in the field, in addition to the core group of professors a t the University of Stavanger. The research group includes professor M. Jones-Lee and professor Ortwin Renn who are among the world leading experts on cost-benefit analysis and risk management/governance.