Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster

Global Futures: Uncertainty, Displacement, Security

Risk Studies Reading List

General Theories and Introductions to Risk Studies

This list compiles introductory and foundational theoretical works in the field of critical risk studies. While the older works on this list are primarily based in economics and the social sciences, this list also includes newer and more interdisciplinary approaches to risk studies. Further, this list includes works that examine cultural theories and cultural histories of risk.

Beck, U. (1992). Risk society: Towards a new modernity. London: SAGE Publications. 

Berstein, P. (1998). Against the gods: The remarkable story of risk. New York: Wiley.

David, F. N. (1962). Games, gods and gambling: The origin and history of probability and statistical ideas from the earliest times to the Newtonian era. New York: Dover Publications.

Denney, D. (2005). Risk and society. London: SAGE Publications.

Douglas, M. (1992). Risk and blame: Essays in cultural theory. London: Routledge.

Ericson, D., & Doyle, A. (Eds.). (2003). Risk and morality. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Gaspar, M. (2020). A pre-modern cultural history of risk: Imagining the future. New York: Routledge.

Ghosh, B., & Sarkar, B. (Eds.). (2020). The Routledge companion to media and risk. New York: Routledge.

Klüppelberg, C., Straub D., & Welpe I. M. (Eds.). (2014). Risk: A multidisciplinary introduction. New York: Springer International Publishing.

Krimsky, S., & Golding, D. (Eds.). (1992). Social theories of risk. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Luhmann, Niklaus. (1993). Risk: A sociological theory. Berlin, New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

Lupton, D. (ed.). (1999). Risk and sociocultural theory: New directions and perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pidgeon, N., Kasperson, R. E., & Slovic, P. (Eds.). (2003). The social amplification of risk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reith, Gerda. (1999). The age of chance: Gambling and western culture. London: Routledge.

Slovic, P. (1987). Perception of risk. Science, 236(4799), 280-285.

Financial and Institutional Risk

This list compiles works that address risk in economic and financial contexts, particularly in moments of major economic change. This list further considers the role of institutions in defining and assessing risk, as well as the ways in which risk is addressed through the concept of governmentality. This list also considers the institutional history of risk through examinations of quantification that occur in financial and insurance contexts.

Alexander, C. (2005). The present and future of financial risk management. Journal of Financial Econometrics, 3(1), 3-25.

Bouk, D. (2015). How our days became numbered: Risk and the rise of the statistical individual. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Curran, D. (2015). Risk illusion and organized irresponsibility in contemporary finance: Rethinking class and risk society. Economy and Society, 44(3), 392-417.

Ewald, François. (1998). Insurance and risk. In G. Burchell et al. (Eds.) The Foucault effect: Studies in governmentality (pp. 197-210). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Heimer, C.A. (2003). Insurers as moral actors. In R. V. Ericson and A. Doyle (Eds.) Risk and morality, (pp. 284-316). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Li, S. (2003). Future trends and challenges of financial risk management in the digital economy. Managerial Finance.

Short, J. F., & Clarke, L. (Eds.). (1992). Organizations, uncertainties, and risk. Boulder: Westview Press.

Van de Venter, G., Michayluk, D., & Davey, G. (2012). A longitudinal study of financial risk tolerance. Journal of Economic Psychology, 33(4), 794-800.

Vlaev, I., Chater 1, N., & Stewart, N. (2009). Dimensionality of risk perception: Factors affecting consumer understanding and evaluation of financial risk. The Journal of Behavioral Finance, 10(3), 158-181.

Environmental Risk

This list compiles works that address the ways in which environmental risks are perceived in ordinary, everyday life. The works on this list are particularly concerned with the extent to which human health risks are understood as being connected to larger environmental risks. This list is thus interested in the ways that traces of the “slow violence” of environmental deterioration manifest in everyday, human life.

Böhm, G. (2003). Emotional reactions to environmental risks: Consequentialist versus ethical evaluation. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23(2), 199-212.

Böhm, G., & Pfister, H. R. (2000). Action tendencies and characteristics of environmental risks. Acta Psychologica, 104(3), 317-337.

Keller, C., Bostrom, A., Kuttschreuter, M., Savadori, L., Spence, A., & White, M. (2012). Bringing appraisal theory to environmental risk perception: A review of conceptual approaches of the past 40 years and suggestions for future research. Journal of Risk Research, 15(3), 237-256.

Lash, S., Szerszynski, B., & Wynne, B. (Eds.). (1996). Risk, environment and modernity: Towards a new ecology. London: Sage.

Löfstedt, R. E., & 6, P. (2008). What environmental and technological risk communication research and health risk research can learn from each other. Journal of Risk Research, 11(1-2), 141-167.

McDaniels, T., Axelrod, L. J., & Slovic, P. (1995). Characterizing perception of ecological risk. Risk Analysis, 15(5), 575-588.

McMichael, A. J., Campbell-Lendrum, D. H., Corvalán, C. F., Ebi, K. L., Githeko, A., Scheraga, J. D., & Woodward, A. (2003). Climate change and human health: Risks and responses. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Munton, R. (2003). Deliberative democracy and environmental decision-making. Negotiating environmental change: New perspectives from social science, 109-136.

Peters, R. G., Covello, V. T., & McCallum, D. B. (1997). The determinants of trust and credibility in environmental risk communication: An empirical study. Risk Analysis, 17(1), 43-54.

Schahn, J., & Holzer, E. (1990). Studies of individual environmental concern: The role of knowledge, gender, and background variables. Environment and Behavior, 22(6), 767-786.

Van Asselt, M. B., & Renn, O. (2011). Risk governance. Journal of Risk Research, 14(4), 431-449.

Van Der Vegt, R. G. (2018). A literature review on the relationship between risk governance and public engagement in relation to complex environmental issues. Journal of Risk Research, 21(11), 1-18.

Wildavsky, A. (1994). But is it true?: On the relationship between knowledge and action in the great environment and safety issues of our time. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Medical Risk

This list compiles works that address technological advances in capturing less perceivable indicators of health risks. This list is particularly concerned with technologies that enable highly personalized forms of health risk tracking (such as through user-friendly medical apps). This list also includes works that address practices of data extraction from personalized risk tracking to produce more intricate health risk databases that can be used by more generalized populations. This list thus puts these two sets of works in a productive tension.

Alaszewski, A. (2006). Health and risk. In Taylor-Gooby, P. and Zinn, J. (Eds.), Risk in Social Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Alaszewski, A., & Brown, P. R. (2007). Risk, uncertainty and knowledge. Health, Risk & Society, 9(1), 1-10.

Brown, P., & Calnan, M. (2010). The risks of managing uncertainty: The limitations of governance and choice, and the potential for trust. Social Policy and Society, 9(1), 13.

Chaussabel, D., & Pulendran, B. (2015). A vision and a prescription for big data-enabled medicine. Nature Immunology, 16(5), 435-439.

Chung, A. E., & Basch, E. M. (2015). Potential and challenges of patient-generated health data for high quality cancer care. Journal of Oncology Practice, 11(3), 195-197.

Cochran, J. H. (2010). Continuous healing relationships through connectivity. Journal of Healthcare Information Management, 24(3), 19-20.

Cohen, I. G., & Lynch, H. F. (Eds.). (2015). FDA in the twenty-first century: The challenges of regulating drugs and new technologies. NY: Columbia University Press.

Cortez, N.G., et al. (2014). FDA regulation of mobile health technologies. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(4), 372-379.

Elenko, E., Speier, A., & Zohar, D. (2015). A regulatory framework emerges for digital medicine. Nature Biotechnology, 33(7), 697-702.

Gay, V., & Leijdekkers, P. (2015). Bringing health and fitness data together for connected health care: Mobile apps as enablers of interoperability. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(11), e260.

Gushulak, B. D., Weekers, J., & MacPherson, D. W. (2009). Migrants and emerging public health issues in a globalized world: Threats, risks and challenges, an evidence-based framework. Emerging Health Threats Journal, 2(1), 7091.

McDonald, R., Waring, J., & Harrison, S. (2005). ‘Balancing risk, that is my life’: The politics of risk in a hospital operating theatre department. Health, Risk & Society, 7(4), 397-411.

McDonald, R., Waring, J., & Harrison, S. (2006). Rules, safety and the narrativization of identity: A hospital operating theatre case study. Sociology of Health & Illness, 28(2), 178-202.

Ostherr, K. (2020). Risk media in medicine: The rise of the metaclinical health app ecosystem. In Ghosh, B. & Sarkar, B. (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Media and Risk. NY: Routledge.

Peterson, A. (1997). Risk, governance and the new public health. In Peterson, A. and Bunton, R.(eds), Foucault, Health and Medicine. London: Routledge.

Rothstein, H. (2006). The institutional origins of risk: A new agenda for risk research. Health, Risk and Society, 8(3), 215–221.

Sweet, C., et al. (2017). Outcomes of a digital health program with human coaching for diabetes: Risk reduction in a Medicare population. Journal of Aging and Health, 30(5), 692-710.

Technological Risk

This list compiles works that address the role of technology in defining and assessing risk. The contexts in which technology and risk interact on this list include data extraction, surveillance, communication, and scientific development. This list also includes works that address the ways in which technology mediate risk.

Binder, A. R., Scheufele, D. A., Brossard, D., & Gunther, A. C. (2011). Interpersonal amplification of risk? Citizen discussions and their impact on perceptions of risks and benefits of a biological research facility. Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 31(2), 324-334.

Browne, S. (2015). Dark matters: On the surveillance of Blackness. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Ciborra, C. (2006). Imbrication of representations: Risk and digital technologies. Journal of Management Studies, 43(6), 1339-1356.

De Marchi, B., & Ravetz, J. R. (1999). Risk management and governance: a post-normal science approach. Futures, 31(7), 743-757.

Delgado, A., & Rodríguez-Giralt, I. (2014). Creole interferences: A conflict over biodiversity and ownership in the south of Brazil. In Medina, E., da Costa Marques, I., & Holmes, C. (Eds.) Beyond imported magic: Essays on science, technology, and society in Latin America (pp. 331-348). Cambridge and London: The MIT Press.

Fiore-Gartland, B., & Neff, G. (2015). Communication, mediation, and the expectations of data. International Journal of Communication, 9, 1466–1484.

Fischhoff, B., Slovic, P., Lichtenstein, S., Read, S., & Combs, B. (1978). How safe is safe enough? A psychometric study of attitudes towards technological risks and benefits. Policy Sciences, 9(2), 127-152.

Grieger, K. D., Wickson, F., Andersen, H. B., & Renn, O. (2012). Improving risk governance of emerging technologies through public engagement: The neglected case of nano-remediation?. International Journal of Emerging Technologies & Society, 10(1).

Hu, T. (2015). A prehistory of the cloud. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press.

Kates, R. W., & Kasperson, J. X. (1983). Comparative risk analysis of technological hazards (a review). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 80(22), 7027-7038.

Nelkin, D. (1989). Communicating technological risk: The social construction of risk perception. Annual Review of Public Health, 10(1), 95-113.

Parikka, J. (2013). Learning from network dysfunctionality: Accidents, enterprise, and small worlds of infection.” In J. Hartley, J. Burgess, & A. Bruns (Eds.) A companion to new media dynamics (pp. 450-460). West Sussex and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Pidgeon, N. (2020). Engaging publics about environmental and technology risks: frames, values and deliberation. Journal of Risk Research, 1-19.

Renn, O., & Benighaus, C. (2013). Perception of technological risk: insights from research and lessons for risk communication and management. Journal of Risk Research, 16(3-4), 293-313.

Rusert, B. (2019). Naturalizing coercion: The Tuskegee experiments and the laboratory life of the plantation. In R. Benjamin (Eds.) Captivating technology: Race, carceral technoscience, and liberatory imagination in everyday life (pp. 25-49). Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Stirling, A. (2008). Science, precaution, and the politics of technological risk: converging implications in evolutionary and social scientific perspectives. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1128(1), 95-110.

Walls, J., O’Riordan, T., Horlick‐Jones, T., & Niewöhner, J. (2005). The meta‐governance of risk and new technologies: GM crops and mobile telephones. Journal of Risk Research, 8(7-8), 635-661.

Weizman, E. (2017). Forensic architecture: Violence at the threshold of detectability. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Migrants and Refugees

This list compiles works the address the various risks experienced by refugees and migrants. This includes medical and health risks, challenges in settlement, and discrimination. The works on this list not only consider the ways in which migrants and refugees are framed as risk factors by states and institutions, but also considers the ways in which migrants and refugees assess and cope with risk themselves.

Afifi, T. D., Afifi, W. A., Callejas, M. A., Shahnazi, A., White, A., & Nimah, N. (2018). The functionality of communal coping in chronic uncertainty environments: The context of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Health Communication.

Afifi, T. D., Afifi, W. A., Merrill, A. F., & Nimah, N. (2016). ‘Fractured communities’: uncertainty, stress, and (a lack of) communal coping in Palestinian refugee camps. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 44(4), 343-361.

Beiser, M. N., & Hou, F. (2006). Ethnic identity, resettlement stress and depressive affect among Southeast Asian refugees in Canada. Social science & medicine, 63(1), 137-150.

Cainkar, L., Abunimah, A., & Raei, L. (2004). Migration as a method of coping with turbulence among Palestinians. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 35(2), 229-240.

Carballo, M., & Nerukar, A. (2001). Migration, refugees, and health risks. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 7(3 Suppl), 556.

Cernea, M. M., & McDowell, C. (Eds.). (2000). Risks and reconstruction: Experiences of resettlers and refugees. The World Bank.

El-Khani, A., Ulph, F., Peters, S., & Calam, R. (2017). Syria: Coping mechanisms utilised by displaced refugee parents caring for their children in pre-resettlement contexts. Intervention, 15(1), 34-50.

El-Shaarawi, N. (2015). Living an uncertain future: Temporality, uncertainty, and well-being among Iraqi refugees in Egypt. Social Analysis, 59(1), 38-56.

Esses, V. M., Hamilton, L. K., & Gaucher, D. (2017). The global refugee crisis: Empirical evidence and policy implications for improving public attitudes and facilitating refugee resettlement. Social Issues and Policy Review, 11(1), 78-123.

Fazel, M., Reed, R. V., Panter-Brick, C., & Stein, A. (2012). Mental health of displaced and refugee children resettled in high-income countries: risk and protective factors. The Lancet, 379(9812), 266-282.

Husseini, A. S. (1996). Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: health= development. Medicine, Conflict and Survival, 12(2), 131-137.

Im, H., Ferguson, A. B., Warsame, A. H., & Isse, M. M. (2017). Mental health risks and stressors faced by urban refugees: Perceived impacts of war and community adversities among Somali refugees in Nairobi. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 63(8), 686-693.

Kramer, S., & Bala, J. (2004). Managing uncertainty: coping styles of refugees in western countries. Intervention: International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counseling in Areas of Armed Conflict, 2(1), 33-42.

Macken, S. (2018). Identity in protracted displacement: Exploring identity of Palestinian and Syrian refugees living in Lebanon. Aigne Journal, 7(1).

Parkinson, S. E., & Behrouzan, O. (2015). Negotiating health and life: Syrian refugees and the politics of access in Lebanon. Social Science & Medicine, 146, 324-331.

Puar, J. (2007). Terrorist assemblages: Homonationalism in queer times. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Schiltz, J., Vindevogel, S., Derluyn, I., & Vanderplasschen, W. (2019). Uncertainty in situations of forced displacement: A critical interpretative synthesis of refugee literature. Population, Space and Place, 25(3), e2194.

Szaflarski, M., & Bauldry, S. (2019). The effects of perceived discrimination on immigrant and refugee physical and mental health. Advances in Medical Sociology, 19, 173.

Yakushko, O., Watson, M., & Thompson, S. (2008). Stress and coping in the lives of recent immigrants and refugees: Considerations for counseling. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 30(3), 167.

Zbidat, A., Georgiadou, E., Borho, A., Erim, Y., & Morawa, E. (2020). The perceptions of trauma, complaints, somatization, and coping strategies among Syrian refugees in Germany: A qualitative study of an at-risk population. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(3), 693.

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Mary Michael
Mary Michael
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