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Risk Governance: Combining Facts and Values in Risk Management

  • Ortwin Renn
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Part of the Topics In Safety, Risk, Reliability And Quality book series (TSRQ, volume 13)

When we turn our own attention to applying the insights from environmental ethics to issues of risk assessment and management, we need to acknowledge that risk presents a major segment of a larger and wider perspective on how humans transform the natural into a cultural environment with the aims of improving living conditions and serving human wants and needs (Turner et al. 1990). These transformations are performed with a purpose in mind (normally a benefit to those who initiate them). When implementing these changes, intended (or tolerated) and unintended consequences may occur that meet or violate other dimensions of what humans value. Therefore, we need first to determine whether categorical principles are violated. If that is the case, the activity that causes this risk should be avoided at any cost. Most often, however, we are dealing with compensatory, i.e. relative principles and standards. This means that we need to balance the benefits and opportunities with the costs and risks. Balancing pros and cons requires first that we gain the best available knowledge about the likely consequences of our interven- tions and second, that we apply moral principles to judge the relative good or bad associated with these consequences. The first task is performed in the process of risk assessment, the second one in the process of risk treatment. Assessing and treating risk are both components of risk management.

Keywords

Risk Management Risk Perception Risk Communication Risk Class Risk Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Ortwin Renn
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical UniversityGermany

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