The Risk Landscape

Interactions that shape responses to public risk

Source: Risk & Regulation Advisory Council

Introduction (quote):
“Numerous groups get involved with public risk, including Ministers, civil servants, parliamentarians, the judiciary, the insurance sector, the media, subject-matter experts, single issue lobby groups, standards setters, compliance officers and risk managers. These ‘risk actors’ and the interactions between them, make up the ‘risk landscape’.

In general, risk actors make a very positive contribution to society. However, in certain circumstances, their behaviour may cause problems. Many will see, and want others to see, a risk in a particular way and may, consciously or unconsciously, distort the views of others. In these cases certain risk actors can become ‘risk- mongers’ – people or groups who conjure up or exaggerate risks inappropriately. Sometimes this will be in order to create some kind of advantage for themselves, such as financial gain, attention, power or even job security. Often it will be well- intentioned but misguided.

In order to understand and highlight some of the most important relationships between risk actors and how they influence perceptions of, and responses to, public risk, the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council has produced a map of the risk landscape.

The risk landscape map is necessarily generic. To ensure that the complexity of the diagram does not become a barrier to understanding, it only represents the most important interactions. For any given public risk some parts of the diagram will be more important than others and some may be irrelevant.

The risk landscape map can, however, be used:
• As a starting point for policy-makers who want to explore direct and indirect influences on their own policy area, understand the motivations of, and influences on, the different risk actors and, by doing so, develop more effective policy
or communication

• As a tool to help communicate some of the important interactions between risk actors that drive responses to public risk, and show where intervention and risk communication could be most effective. An interactive version of the risk landscape has also been developed and should be particularly helpful in presentations, allowing a presenter to highlight and focus attention on particular parts of the map.”

Download The Risk Landscape