• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

The RISK SOCIETY is a concept describing the emergence of a social order organized increasingly around the politics of risk; it originated in the work of German sociologist and public intellectual Ulrich Beck during the late 1980s. This transformation is reflected in a widening of the public sphere, and of conventional realms of policy and politics, to include a range of environmental, scientific, and technological issues once considered beyond the scope of democratic politics.

The risk society has its basis in a general critique of Enlightenment ideals of science, technology, and expertise, and their application as normative models in social and environmental governance. It is argued that “scientism,” seen in Beck's 1992 book Risk Society as a quasi-religious cultural form which conflates the meaning of human ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles