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Questioning world risk society: three challenges for research on the governance of uncertainty

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)

No.2, 2017

 

Questioning world risk society: three challenges for research on the governance of uncertainty

(Abstract)

 

Fabrizio Cantelli, Naonori Kodate and Kristian Krieger

 

This article reflects on the changes in risk    research since Ulrich Beck introduced the idea of an emerging “Risk Society” and subsequently even “World Risk Society” more than 20 years ago. Specifically, it identifies three key challenges to Beck’s arguments: First, recent research shows that cross-country and cross-sector boundaries matter when it comes to perception and management of risk. Secondly, voice matters. Risk is no longer a domain dominated by experts but a plurality of forms and sources of knowledge has become available to decision-makers and the public. Whether and how this plurality of voices need to be taken into consideration and with what implications are some of the key questions for researchers. Finally, reflexivity matters. As social science input is seen as ever more important for decision-making concerning risks, it is essential for involved researchers to reflect on their contribution and position in risk governance (e.g. in terms of risk communication).