Documentos CIDOB Dinámicas Interculturales, n.º 8
The growing number of risks and disasters facing society - hurricane Katrina, the tsunami, the "mad cow" crisis, avian flu, climate change and terrorism – all go to shape the nature of the global risks that define the way in which we live and govern the modern world. According to Ulrich Beck, who is considered one of today’s most renowned sociologists, being at risk is the human condition of the 21st century, in the sense that society is increasingly involved in debating, preventing and managing the risks that it itself produces. Beck's analysis is based on the opportunities that this condition offers: on one hand, he highlights the fact that no nation alone can deal with problems of a global scale, while on the other, he argues that the situation strengthens a process of involuntary democratisation, as a result of the connection − from one border to another − of actors who otherwise would not have had anything to do with each other. The sociologist uses both factors to put forward a new, realistic political alternative through a cosmopolitanism that is pragmatic, self-critical and even sceptical, and which would enable us to produce a rereading of globalisation by considering new variables in favour of a new world balance.
Ulrich Beck, Professor of Sociology at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich and visiting professor at the London School of Economics (LSE)
ISSN: 1698-2568 (print edition)
ISSN: 1698-5516 (online edition)
57 pp. (Bilingual edition, English-Spanish)