Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The risk society

One of the most important achievements of our society is how we have been able to manage certain risks in the last century. The mandatory pooling of health risks is in my opinion the most crucial one. Risk regulation on different hazards has protected population from many damages. Medicines regulation agencies would be a good example of that if they worked properly, and we all know it is not always the case. However, it is much better to have them than not, as happens with medical devices in Europe.
Last week, Ulrich Beck died. He is one of the most prominent sociologists of our times. His book, The Risk Society, is still a key reference after four decades. Anthony Giddens has written an excellent obituary that reflects his contributions. We all have to learn from Beck's clever perspectives and observations. In my opinion, up to now we have been able to improve the social management of risks, however there are many shadows that raise doubts about the future. Some people call them the end of the welfare state, while I would like to focus is on new ways of risk protection that are affordable, given the current (and critical) state of public finances.

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