Book Chapter

Chapter 11

Disputing Security and Risk

Published on 15 July 2020

This chapter explores some of the dilemmas that arise in using uncertainty as a lens to interpret societal problems and issues. Using several cases to open up discussion we argue that it is vitally important to understand the historical, political and cultural context in which debates about risk, uncertainty and (in)security materialise.

Arguing for a re-specified, context-specific account, we seek to unravel dominant understandings of uncertainty in three domains: cyber security, counter-radicalisation strategy and mechanisms for coping in the aftermath of structural violence. While acknowledging the value of uncertainty as an heuristic device, we argue that established units of sociological analysis – such as power and ideology – remain important explanatory concepts in understanding institutional actions and policy drivers.

Cite this publication

Farrand Carrapico, H.; Massoumi, N.; McGowan, W. and Mythen, G. (2020) ‘Disputing Security and Risk’, in I. Scoones and A. Stirling (eds), The Politics of Uncertainty: Challenges of Transformation pp 151-163 (1st ed.), Routledge


Helena Farrand Carrapico
Narzanin Massoumi
William McGowan
Gabe Mythen

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