society & culture

Migrant deaths may force Europe policy change

Times of Malta The outrage Europe’s leaders face over the deaths of hundreds of refugees trying to reach its shores may force a shift in a policy critics decry as letting people drown to deter others in desperate need. The moat that the Mediterranean forms between Fortress Europe and less fortunate neighborus may become slightly less forbidding, even if the focus will still be to discourage the crossing in ways other than raising the risk of dying at sea. Scrambling […]

Have we sown the seeds of dystopia?

The word dystopia refers to a fictitious place in which everything has gone awry. It is the flip side of utopia, the word coined by Sir Thomas More in his fictional portrayal of a seemingly ideal society. Although such ideas have fascinated novelists ever since More’s musings in the 16th century, there is now reason to fear that we are sowing the seeds of a variety of dystopia which is all too real. Read more >

Social Risk Management

The World Bank’s Approach to Social Protection in a Globalizing World Source: Social Protection Department, The World Bank Authors: Robert Holzmann, Lynne Sherburne-Benz, and Emil Tesliuc ‘Social protection is moving up on the development agenda. Dismissed as ineffective, expensive or even detrimental to development in developing countries for a long time, it is now increasingly understood that assisting individuals, households and communities in dealing with diverse risks is needed for accelerated poverty reduction, and sustained economic and social development. Conceptu- […]

Cohesion Policy

The main goal of PRIMO is to develop an holistic approach of city governance, i.e. an integrated approach where the city is considered as an entity and in which all institutions and stakeholders cooperate to realize political targets. In this approach the common adressing of risks and benefits, of chances and threatenings is crucial for success. Moreover the ‘tuning’ with higher governmental institutions is crucial. This approach is anchored within our statutes and businessplan, our networks, products and services. Multi-level […]

Risk analysis on society as a whole: Calling time on progress

Europeans thought they were progressing towards an ideal civilisation. Now time is up, and it hurts Source: the Economist “VIEWED from afar, Europeans are a complacent, ungrateful lot. Nannied from cradle to grave by the world’s most generous welfare systems, they squeal like spoiled children when asked to give up just a few of their playthings. As governments in the euro zone trim benefits and raise the retirement age in the wake of the sovereign-debt crisis, a wail of indignation […]

The end of risk

Source: NewStatesman Author: Lois Rogers “Swaths of regulation and an industry of “fear entrepreneurs” have fuelled a climate of timidity about the dangers of everyday life. This island was once populated by an upbeat, outgoing sort of race – the kind who rallied together in adversity, bailed out each other’s houses in times of flood, and popped round to neighbours with a casserole if someone sprained an ankle and couldn’t cook. Nowadays, it is more than likely that people would be […]

Managing and Reducing Social Vulnerabilities

This white paper of the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) focusses on five critical infrastructures related to social vulnerabilities. “This White Paper on ‘Managing and Reducing Social Vulnerabilities: from Coupled critical Infrastructures’ is the second in which we publish recommendations for the risk governance of a particular problem field. We have chosen to focus on five infrastructures: electric power supply, gas supply, urban water supply and waste water treatment, rail transport and systems for general information and communication services. These […]

Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change

Report from the HM Treasury (UK, 2006) The scientific evidence is now overwhelming: climate change presents very serious global risks, and it demands an urgent global response. This independent Review was commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reporting to both the Chancellor and to the Prime Minister, as a contribution to assessing the evidence and building understanding of the economics of climate change. The Review first examines the evidence on the economic impacts of climate change itself, and explores […]