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IAS Workshop - Consumers in the Knowledge-Based Economy

Date: 20-21 April 2006


This workshop will look at the opportunities and challenges posed for consumers - as well as for policy makers concerned with consumer welfare - by the knowledge based economy(KBE). Some of the crucial issues for consumers relate firstly, to the new skills which they need in order to participate in the KBE; and secondly, the assets, such as computers, that are needed to participate fully in many of the 'virtual' aspects of the modern marketplace. From the perspective of policy-makers, one set of issues relate to changes in consumer protection strategy. Policy is increasingly aimed at informing and educating the consumer. The relationship between this new approach to policy making (which seeks to educate the consumer) and the more traditional forms of consumer protection that placed greater emphasis on controlling trader conduct, needs to be explored.

In addition, the underlying assumption about the level of consumer literacy which is required in order for consumers to enjoy the opportunities represented by the KBE, and be able to take a more proactive role within consumer protection, needs to be examined, if not problematized. Our particular focus, therefore, in this workshop will be on how vulnerable consumers cope with the KBE and we pose the question "what creates and/or constitutes consumer vulnerability in the KBE?"

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Organising departments and research centres: Institute for Advanced Studies


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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