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Policy-making has always involved uncertainty; however the presence of unknowns has become far more conspicuous and problematic in recent times. One important way in which policy-makers have increasingly sought to deal with such uncertainty is through approaches rooted in understandings of risk. This book comprises a rather diverse collection of six chapters, alongside one more explicitly theoretical introduction, each taking up a distinct perspective in scrutinising the relationship between policy, risk and uncertainty.
Important concerns addressed within these different studies include: how risk-governance policies are shaped by risk awareness (or a lack thereof) and the mediating role of trust; the framing of policy through an emphasis on particular risks and the corresponding impact on societal beliefs, discourses and institutional power; the organisational processes which lead to some risks being tackled while others are neglected; and processes of (de-) politicising uncertainty at the interface between scientists and policy-makers. Contributors explore trans-national institutions, national bodies, and local government – within diverse geographical contexts including China, Brazil, the Baltic Sea, Australia, the UK, and Europe. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Risk Research.