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The risk society thesis posits that many governmental officials and law professionals make decisions within a pervasive framework of risk assessment. This framework contrasts with others in that in it is preemptive, ameliorative, and preventative rather than corrective. Decision makers identify risk primarily with the use of statistical models. They then make projections that form the basis for intervention. Scholars often regard insurance as the archetypal form of such a risk technique. However, there is also a heightened governmental emphasis on “productive” risk taking, especially in the business sector. The risk society thesis argues that all of these changes reflect the formation of a generalized “risk consciousness,” itself the effect of major technologically driven threats emerging in the last half century.

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