Authors: Veronika Wittmann
Addresses: Department of Modern and Contemporary History, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 4020 Linz, Austria
Abstract: Risk society today means world risk society. Its essential features are man-made risks, which have no social, space or time limits. World risk society identifies three main global risks: transnational terrorism, financial hazards and environmental risks. Environmental issues in this framework cannot be seen as problems in the environment of society, but they have to be considered as inner world problems of society itself. The interpretational framework of world risk society can be subdivided into three levels: first, global threats cause global commonalities; the contours of a world public are emerging. Secondly, the perception of global self-hazards releases a politically tailored impulse for the revitalisation of national policy as well as for the training and design of cooperative international institutions. Thirdly, the delimitation of the political has to be researched: the perceived needs of world risk society give way to a world civil society. Henceforth, in world risk society environmental hazards can be interpreted as a driving force for cosmopolitanism, global environmental risks and their practical and discursive treatment create transnational communities.
Keywords: world risk society; environmental risks; cosmopolitanism; reflexive modernisation; cosmopolitan view; risk society; cosmopolitan moment; global hazards; global commonalities; world civil society.
International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 2018 Vol.13 No.3/4, pp.154 - 168
Received: 09 Nov 2017
Accepted: 19 Jan 2018
Published online: 17 Dec 2018 *