Ulrich Beck points out a new feature of our world risk society that has emerged. Risk is used for political gain, which means that
fear creeps into modern life.
“A need for security seems to encroach on our liberty and our view of equality.” Beck however believes that the anticipation of catastrophe can fundamentally change global politics. There is an “opportunity today to reconfigure power in terms of what Beck calls a cosmopolitan material politics.”
(Cover description; World at Risk, Ulrich Beck)
Core element in the negotiation and construction of landscapes of risk (riskscapes) is not just anticipating the consequencs of human actions or events, but additionally judging the desirability and moral quality of these consequences and define the criteria for this judgement.
An idea becomes crucial:
We are living increasingly in a world that changes not according to what has happend, but according to what is anticipated.
That what may happen.
Both components – knowledge and values- play an important role for any vision and decision-making process independent of the issue and the problem context. cf.
cf. (Renn, O. & Klinke, A., 2012): Space Matters! Impacts for Risk Governance. In: The Spational Dimensions of Risk, Müller-Mahn. D., p.1.
Further, how to balance between an imagination of a disaster that triggers prevention actions and a fear that paralyses?
Fear is very easy to manipulate, in particular, when it comes to assessing future risks. We can fall prey to a litany of cognitive distortions and overreactions. It incapacitates people and renders them impotent or conducive to regressive behaviors in order to feel protected.
Hence, terrorists, goverments, media can exploit fear by terrorising a target audience into concessions, by repressions or propaganda, so people become willing to relinquish their most intimate and sacred rights in order to feel safe, and accept a response with negative consequences into overarching counter-terrorism strategies. Exploring the dynamics of fear and understanding how feelings of fear influence the way people feel, think and act is therefore an important consideration for WikiDaemon on how individuals and societies can manage and learn to cope with fear and risks.