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Prometheus Unbound : Challenges of Risk Evaluation, Risk Classification, and Risk Management

Universität Stuttgart
SWD-Schlagwörter: Risiko Institut: Akademie für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Baden-Württemberg DDC-Sachgruppe: Sozialwissenschaften ...  mehr
Kurstyp: Kurs
Quelle: elib.uni-stuttgart.de
Format: HTML
Sprache: Deutsch

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Prometheus Unbound : Challenges of Risk Evaluation, Risk Classification, and Risk Management
SWD-Schlagwörter: Risiko

Institut: Akademie für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Baden-Württemberg

DDC-Sachgruppe: Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie

Dokumentart: Report (Bericht)

Sprache: Englisch

Erstellungsjahr: 1999

Publikationsdatum: 26.03.2004

Kurzfassung auf Englisch: At the end of the nineties the field of risk assessment and management needs some new
impulses for handling risks of nature, technologies, and human activities. This report
introduces a new proposal with respect to the three main elements of risk analysis: risk
assessment, risk evaluation, and risk management. First, the report demonstrates the
need for new approaches in risk evaluation and management. Second, it analyzes the
problems that need to be addressed when handling natural and technical disasters. Third,
it presents a new classification scheme for characterizing risks. Based on this new classification,
risk management requirements and desired political actions are described at
the end.
For dealing with risks in a rational fashion, it is necessary to characterize risks and use
the parameters of characterization as tools for designing appropriate actions. This reports
suggests a set of criteria that one can use in evaluating risks. These criteria include:
· Damage potential, i.e. the amount of damage that the hazard can cause;
· probability of occurrence, i.e. the likelihood that a specific damage will occur;
· incertitude, i.e., the remaining uncertainties that are not covered by the assessment
of probabilities (subdivided in statistical uncertainties, genuine uncertainty, and ignorance);
· ubiquity which defines the geographic dispersion of potential damages (intragenerational
· persistency which defines the temporal extension of potential damages
(intergenerational justice);
· irreversibility which describes the impossible restoration of the situation to the state
before the damage occurred (possible restoration are e.g. reforestation and cleaning
of water);
· delay effects which characterize the time of latency between the initial event and the
actual impact of damage. The time of latency could be of physical, chemical or biological
nature; and
2 Klinke and Renn
· potential of mobilization which is understood as violation of individual, social or
cultural interests and values generating social conflicts and psychological reactions
by affected people.
Theoretically a huge number of risk types can be developed by combining the eight
criteria. Such a huge number of cases would not be useful for the purpose to develop a
comprehensive risk classification. In reality, some criteria are tightly coupled and other
combinations are certainly theoretically possible, but there are not any or only few empirical
examples. As a result of a tidious screening process, six different risk types were
classified based on the assessment whether they reach or exceed one of the possible
extreme qualities mentioned above.
For each of the six risk classes special risk management strategies were developed.
With respect to natural disasters three different management regimes should be distinguished:
classic risk management (dealing with risk avoidance and reduction): uncertainty
management (dealing with precautionary measures and warning systems); and
ambiguity management (dealing with measures to deal with conflicts among experts
and between experts and social groups). The main arguments of this report will be published
in a book that is scheduled to be available in the fall of 2000.