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Risk communication: against the gods or against all odds?: problems and prospects of accounting for black swans

Wardman, Jaime; Mythen, Gabe

Authors

Jaime Wardman

Gabe Mythen



Abstract

Recent academic and policy preoccupations with ‘Black Swans’ underscore the predicament of capturing and communicating risk events when information is absent, partial, incomplete or contingent. In this article we wish to articulate some key thematic and theoretical points of concurrence around which academic and practitioner interests in risk communication under conditions of ‘high uncertainty’ intersect. We outline the historical context and recent debate concerning the limits to ‘risk thinking’ spurred by Black Swans, and in particular how this calls for a more holistic approach to risk communication. In order to support a more critical foresight agenda, we suggest incorporating ‘adaptive governance’ principles to decenter focal risk communication concerns on the mitigation of short-term security threats, which critics argue can also lead to other unforeseen dangers. Finally, we welcome further interdisciplinary inquiry into the constitution and use of risk communication under high uncertainty.

Citation

Wardman, J., & Mythen, G. (in press). Risk communication: against the gods or against all odds?: problems and prospects of accounting for black swans. Journal of Risk Research, 19(10), https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2016.1262002

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 14, 2016
Online Publication Date Dec 9, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 21, 2017
Journal Journal of Risk Research
Print ISSN 1366-9877
Electronic ISSN 1466-4461
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 10
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2016.1262002
Keywords Black Swans, high uncertainty, risk communication, adaptive governance, sustainability
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/835922
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13669877.2016.1262002

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