World at Risk
Twenty years ago Ulrich Beck published Risk Society, a bookthat called our attention to the dangers of environmentalcatastrophes and changed the way we think about contemporarysocieties. During the last two decades, the dangers highlighted byBeck have taken on new forms and assumed ever greater significance.Terrorism has shifted to a global arena, financial crises haveproduced worldwide consequences that are difficult to control andpoliticians have been forced to accept that climate change is notidle speculation. In short, we have come to see that today we livein a world at risk.
A new feature of our world risk society is that risk is producedfor political gain. This political use of risk means that fearcreeps into modern life. A need for security encroaches on ourliberty and our view of equality.
However, Beck is anything but an alarmist and believes that theanticipation of catastrophe can fundamentally change globalpolitics. We have the opportunity today to reconfigure power interms of what Beck calls a 'cosmopolitan materialpolitics’.
World at Risk is a timely and far-reaching analysis ofthe structural dynamics of the modern world, the global nature ofrisk and the future of global politics by one of the most originaland exciting social thinkers writing today.