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Programme & Unit Catalogues

PL50982: The politics of risk

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail for this unit will be available shortly. (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
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: 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.

Content: 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.

Programme availability:

PL50982 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
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