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World at Risk
     

World at Risk

by Ulrich Beck
 

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Twenty years ago Ulrich Beck published Risk Society, a book that called our attention to the dangers of environmental catastrophes and changed the way we think about contemporary societies. During the last two decades, the dangers highlighted by Beck have taken on new forms and assumed ever greater significance. Terrorism has shifted to a global arena,

Overview

Twenty years ago Ulrich Beck published Risk Society, a book that called our attention to the dangers of environmental catastrophes and changed the way we think about contemporary societies. During the last two decades, the dangers highlighted by Beck have taken on new forms and assumed ever greater significance. Terrorism has shifted to a global arena, financial crises have produced worldwide consequences that are difficult to control and politicians have been forced to accept that climate change is not idle speculation. In short, we have come to see that today we live in a world at risk.

A new feature of our world risk society is that risk is produced for political gain. This political use of risk means that fear creeps into modern life. A need for security encroaches on our liberty and our view of equality.

However, Beck is anything but an alarmist and believes that the anticipation of catastrophe can fundamentally change global politics. We have the opportunity today to reconfigure power in terms of what Beck calls a 'cosmopolitan material politics’.

World at Risk is a timely and far-reaching analysis of the structural dynamics of the modern world, the global nature of risk and the future of global politics by one of the most original and exciting social thinkers writing today.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Full of ideas and insights and thus extremely stimulating reading ... essential reading for those seeking to bridge the gap between theory about societies and theories about world politics - a bridge that is urgently needed."

Millennium: Journal of International Studies

"A critical and dispassionate account of ecological threats that are wealth-driven, poverty-driven, or are owed to nuclear, biological and chemical means of mass destruction; a powerful discourse on risk calculation and insurability that permeates the book in an almost metaphorical sense; and, as a bonus for the disappointed student of socialist political economy, a poignant if implicit refutation of liberal economics and rational choice theory as meaningful explanatory tools of reality."

— Canadian Journal of Political Science

'This challenging collection of essays by one of the major social theorists of our time is essential reading for anyone interested to get to know the breadth of Ulrich Beck's work on the 'Risk Society'. Addressing academics and policy makers, Beck analyses the impact of the 'World Risk Society' on the environment and considers the implications of this globalization of 'organized irresponsibility' for socio-political and economic action. World Risk Society is social theory at its contemporary best: powerful, engaged and socially relevant.'

— Barbara Adam, Cardiff University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745681627
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
10/29/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
975 KB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“A fascinating examination of the risk society of the twenty-first century. Ulrich Beck details the new world order where terrorism and global climate change haunt our lives and engender some powerful new risks and new modes of politics. This book importantly draws together many of Beck’s themes for examining the main lineaments of the new World at Risk.”
John Urry, University of Lancaster

“Beck deploys the concept of risk as a sharply focused flashlight that allows him to see what is typically obscured by dominant notions and explanations. This becomes a process of discovery, rare in the social sciences today, concerned as they are with proof. He brilliantly conceptualizes these discoveries in terms of categories not usually used in risk analysis, such as cosmopolitanism. A must-read book.”
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University

Meet the Author

Ulrich Beck is Professor of Sociology at the University of Munich.

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