Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Risk
An historical and comparative perspective is central to the original outline of the sociological approach to risk, which argued that risk was a distinctively modern concept. Comparing the impact and management of particular risks across both time and space allows unique insight. Rich comparative sociological risk research continues, such as in Tom Beamish’s recent study of the different impacts made by the prospect of siting bioterrorism facilities among different American communities.
Suggested topics for this stream include papers comparing the impact of particular technologies and other risks between different countries and communities, and the development of particular conceptualisations and reactions to risk over time. We particularly welcome papers that engage with the Western origins of risk concepts and practice and how these have been globalised to different effect and implication.