Global Risk Society

Photo by Yeshi Kangrang via Unsplash. Edited by Opulens

WORLD. As sociologist Ulrick Beck once wrote it, we are living in a global risk society. In order to understand different global risks and problems, we also need to understand our emotions, perceptions and interpretations of reality. For such reasons, the latest publication about global risks from Global Challenges Foundation is insightful. 

The think-tank Global Challenges Foundation has recently published “Global Catastrophic Risks and International Collaboration”.  The publication is based on a survey conducted by the research company Novus.

As presented officially, the purpose of the survey is to map out attitudes towards global catastrophic risks and international collaborations in ten different countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, UK and US. A total of 10,154 interviews were conducted in these countries were different significant differences were compared, such as regarding gender, age and education. Here are some of the results conducted in the survey. 

A majority in all countries believe that the world is less safe today than it was two years ago. A higher proportion of such attitudes is in South Africa, Australia and Russia while lower proportions may be found in India, Germany and Sweden. Also, according to the survey, older people are generally more inclined to feel that the world is less safe now than two years ago, which is a common feature for all countries that were included in the survey.

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Another interesting aspect is that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the most occurring word in all countries. Other common descriptions of the state of the world are climate and environmental issues raised in several countries, and particularly in  Germany and Sweden. Climate change that causes environmental degradation, such as rising sea levels or melting polar ice caps, is considered a global catastrophic risk to the greatest degree by people living in Brazil, South Africa and India. 

There are also several differences when it comes to gender. For example, in general women in most countries are more likely to view more events as potential risks. This is the case in Sweden, the UK, Germany, Brazil and Russia, while women in countries such as China and India do not differ from men quite as much.

Last but not the least, the survey states that a majority of the population in all mentioned countries regard climate change, environmental degradation, political violence, weapons of mass destruction, pandemics, artificial intelligence, population increases and extreme poverty as potential global catastrophic risks. 

For more information about the survey and its results, click on the following link.  

Vladan Lausevic
Vladan Lausevic

Opulens är ett dagligt nätmagasin som vill stärka kulturjournalistikens opinionsbildande roll. Kulturartiklar samsas därför med opinionsmaterial – allt med en samhällsmedveten blick där så väl klimatförändringarna och hoten mot yttrandefriheten som de sociala orättvisorna betraktas som självklara utgångspunkter.


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