Ulrech Beck (1944–2015) was a German sociologist who was internationally known for his writings on technology, globalization, modernity, and climate change. He gained notoriety for his belief that advances in technology would create additional global security risks, and he came up with terms, now widely used, such as risk society and second modernity. This entry focuses primarily on Beck’s work regarding globalization. The entry first explains globalization and then reviews Beck’s stances on globalization and the intertwined issues of modernity and cosmopolitanism. The entry concludes with a look at some of the criticisms of Beck and, in particular, his thesis on the global risk society.


Many global societies have undergone considerable transformation over the course of their histories and adopted a number of different characteristics. As ...

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