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PL50982: The politics of risk

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail for this unit will be available shortly. (CW 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
The unit aims to:
* provide students with a comprehensive overview of the Risk Society
* examine how this emerged in the context of the aftermath of the Cold War
* explore intellectual antecedents relating to the Enlightenment view of progress
* engage with debates regarding the role of human agency and subjectivity
* introduce the standard tools of risk assessment and risk management
* identify the limitations inherent to this approach
* cover specific case studies pertaining to risk in relation to health and security.

Learning Outcomes:
Students who have successfully completed this unit will:
* have a better understanding of the post-Cold War world order
* appreciate how and why risk came to fill a void of political purpose
* be better able to situate debates about risk within a wider framework
* engage critically with contemporary controversies on these issues
* develop a clearer sense of the centrality of human agency in politics
* understand the need for moral values in international relations and security.

Skills in critical analysis, conceptual thinking, precision in the use of written and spoken language, exercise of independent judgement, reasoned argument, and the planning/conduct/reporting of non-quantitative research are taught and assessed in this unit. Skills in effective learning are developed in this unit.

The unit will discuss the following:
* The Enlightenment worldview
* The Cold War and its aftermath
* The rise of the Risk Society
* Cultural Theory of Risk
* Psychometric Modelling of Risk
* Risk and Security
* Risk and Public Health
* Child Safety
* Environmental Risk
* Resilience.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PL50982 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
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