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Social Contexts and Responses to Risk: Final Report

Taylor-Gooby, Peter Social Contexts and Responses to Risk: Final Report. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:18955)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)



1. Executive Summary

• The Social Contexts and Responses to Risk Priority Network seeks to develop research on the influence of social context on perceptions of and responses to risk and uncertainty, and to engage stake-holders and research users in the work. It covers a broad range of disciplines, themes and methods and brings together sociologists, psychologists, economists, experts on social policy, the media, socio-legal studies and law and other social scientists from 14 universities. It is mainly financed by an ESRC grant of £2.7m from 2003 to 2008.

• It is particularly concerned to:

- Advance understanding of specific risk topics addressed in individual projects and bring this together in developing social science perspectives on risk;

- Advance methodological work, especially by introducing little used methods, linking together different methodologies and triangulating between them;

? The informed and evidence-based critique of influential ‘risk society’ and ‘individual rational actor’ approaches to risk;

? Public engagement and policy debate at a range of levels through user workshops organised to promote individual projects, media activity and publications in non-academic media and through the contributions made by network members to official reports and enquiries and their contacts with policy-makers; and

? Support for individuals in managing their education and career plans in an increasingly uncertain social world;

? The presentation of risk issues to the public in planning and policy debates;

? The use of public preference surveys as a means of gathering public views on policy choice;

? The development of approaches to management in public services that address the cost-efficiency imperative without undermining public trust.

• The Network has been exceptionally successful in developing continuing international links through the founding of a Thematic Group (TG04) on the Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty in the International Sociological Association (ISA) and an equivalent group (RN22) in the European Sociological Association (ESA). These activities enhance the visibility of SCARR research from an international perspective, ensure that a framework is in place for the continuance of SCARR Network activities after ESRC funding comes to an end and position the UK as a leading player in developing future cross-disciplinary work on risk.

• Publications by Network members include three books, a journal special issue, 66 refereed journal articles and 52 chapters, more than 150 conference presentations and more than 30 working papers with more outputs at various stages of preparation (see Annex C).

• The Network has organised three international conferences and major contributions to eight other conferences organised by different, mainly international bodies, and seven targeted engagement events for various groups of research users. These activities are in addition to those developed in collaboration with individual projects and will lead to a further conference in Beijing in 2009.

• The SCARR website ( contains information on a range of issues relevant to risk uncertainty research and makes more than 150 working and conference papers available. This website will continue to be maintained and developed by the Kent department.

• SCARR’s activities strengthen cross-disciplinary empirical work on risk issues and promote and develop opportunities for cross-national comparative work on this field. The majority of current work is at the level of sophisticated case-studies. The development of integrative and comparative approaches is an important step forward. Current research proposals seek to advance this.

• SCARR has also contributed to capacity-building in a number of ways:

? Through the development of individual researchers;

? Through acquaintance with a wider range of methodological approaches than is normally possible within dispersed projects; and

• The value added to research in this field through grouping the projects within the SCARR Priority Network has been substantial, in ensuring that project research is pursued vigorously and effectively, in facilitating interdisciplinary linkages, in ensuring that researchers at different career stages have access to a range of methods and perspectives, in promoting a wide dissemination of activities across academic communities, in engaging policy-makers, business, NGOs and the wider public in its work through open workshops and media activity and in supporting the establishment of a strong and continuing international research group.

Item Type: Research report (external)
Projects: [16] Social Contexts and Responses to Risk
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Peter Taylor-Gooby
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2011 09:24 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Taylor-Gooby, Peter:
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