Saturday, February 13, 2010

Problems in Managing Global Risk

Problems in Managing Global Risk

Globalization could be seen as a democles sword of contemporary society, in the sense it entails abundant negativities along with its positive side. Michael T. Snarr[1] argued that globalization offers a multitude of advantages to people around the world, but at the same time exposes people to greater vulnerability and insecurity. The risk of the society is increasing hand to hand with globalization.

Ulrich Beck[2] clearly state risk is not synonymous with catastrophe. Risk means the anticipation of the catastrophe that concerns the possibility of future occureness and developments; they make present a state that does not exist yet. This anticipation of catastrophe lacks any spatio-temporal or social concreteness. Thus, there are several problems in managing global risk.

First, interconnectedness of the global risk makes the issue more complex. Global risk such as financial market vulnerability, climate change, terorism, is in one way or another is interconnected. The interconnectedness is not necessarily in a direct causative relationship, but often indirectly, either through common impacts or mitigation trade offs.[3] Managing global risks entails risks identification, assessment and mitigations, whereas understanding the interconnected nature of global risks is methodologically and conceptually complex. Yet it is necessary to create a holistic and comprehensive prioritization and decision making at every level of governance. The interconectedness includes the level of governance that entails various actors from state, suprastate, substate, private sector, etc.

Second, Risk are always a future events that may occur, that threaten us. This time dimension of certain risk should be address in various measures. A very threatening risk such as climate change dealed slowly in a global scale because of their distant potential catastrophe. But some countries and actors seriously and fastly try to deal with such problems because their immediate catastrophe impacts.

Third, the anticipation degrees could be a triger that may lead to other catatstrophe or negative consequences. The overated or underated perceived risk it self bears a negative consequences. For example is the under anticipation of climate change where radical goals to curb the current global warming denied. Other example is the over anticipation towards terorism in the part of society that could be considered safe, modern and developed. The anticipation of terorism may lead to accelerating fear fueled up by the media. Thus it will undermine and deprive several human rights and liberty aspect for stricter security measures.

Related with the idea of fueling up of the risk in the society; while Beck promote the emergence of cosmopolitan security community, Elke Krahman[4] argues that the rising private risk industry has contributed in raising the fear in the world risk in which the demand for security can never be satisfied thus generates continous profit. This includes private protection against terorism related threats.

In managing global risks, i would like to allign my opinion with Sean Kay. Sean Kay[5] makes an interesting argument that to resolves global security, it is essential to emphasize in education. Education can defeat ignorance, which breeds fear and thus facilitates a realistic perspective about varios threats, and creative problem solving to addres them. This education to the whole wide population may led, to including but not limited, in grasping the complex interconnectedness in the identifying, assessing and mitigating the global risks.

[1] Snarr, Michael T, “Introducing Globalization and Global Issues”, p.8, in Snarr & Snarr, 2008, Introducing Global Issues, Lynne Rienner Publishers, London.

[2] Beck, Ulrich, World at Risk, Polity Press, UK, 2009, p.11

[3] Global Risks 2008 – A global risk network report, available at [] (accessed at 14 November 2009)

[4] Krahmann, Elke (2008), “The Commodification of Security in the Risk Society,” Center for Governance and International Affairs, University of Bristol, Working paper 06-08, available at

[] (accessed at 14 November 2009)

[5] Kay, Sean, ”Global Security”, p.90, in Snarr & Snarr, 2008, Introducing Global Issues, Lynne Rienner Publishers, London.

No comments:

Post a Comment