Risk: Perception, Reality and the Policy Process

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Risk is a socially constructed, complex concept that humans have developed to deal with the fear of unknown events that may happen in their lives. Fear is the dominant word, which itself is a basic human reaction to a threat, which can be real (in the moment) or perceived (may happen). People choose what to fear and how to fear it. Culturally, it is powerful glue that creates part of the framework for preferred patterns of social relations and associations. These relations are the place where values, beliefs, and perceptions about the world are established and nurtured. All of these ultimately work together to drive policy preferences about our social and economic structures.