Managing Risk and Crisis

Module code: AE7500

Module co-ordinators: Dr Simon Bennett, Dr Nibedita S Ray-Bennett

What does it mean to be secure in contemporary society? The absence of risk? This is the fundamental question which we will consider in this module. Many social theorists now argue that we live in a ‘postmodern’ society (cf. Beck, 1992; Giddens, 1991), yet the ability to completely remove dangers that individuals feel they are exposed to still appears to many of us as an elusive target. The recent history of human existence is littered with attempts to control nature and context, and some theorists would argue that a failure to manage this process is testimony to our inability to become ‘modern’ let alone ‘postmodern’ (Latour, 1991). Religions, -isms, -ologies and science itself all contribute to the construction and maintenance of a debate which, if history is to act as a guide, will run and run.

Topics covered

  • Concepts of risk
  • Psychological approaches to risk management
  • Risk communication
  • Cultural theory
  • Quantifying risks and hazards
  • Insurance risk
  • Terrorism
  • Organisational contingency planning
  • London bombings – a case study

Learning

  • 5 one-hour lectures
  • 3 hours of supervised workshops

Assessment

  • Essay (100%)