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The constitution of risk communication in advanced liberal societies

By Jamie Wardman


This article aims to bring to the fore some of the underlying rationales that inform common conceptions of the constitution of risk communication in academic and policy communities. ‘Normative’, ‘instrumental’ and ‘substantive’ imperatives typically employed in the utilisation of risk communication are first outlined. In light of these considerations a theoretical scheme is subsequently devised leading to the articulation of four fundamental ‘idealised’ models of risk communication termed the ‘risk message’ model, the ‘risk dialogue’ model, the ‘risk field’ model and the ‘risk government’ model respectively. It is contended that the diverse conceptual foundations underlying the orientation of each model suggest a further need for a more contextualised view of risk communication that takes account not only of the strengths and limitations of different formulations and functions of risk communication, but also the underlying knowledge/power dynamics that underlie its constitution. In particular it is hoped that the reflexive theoretical understanding presented here will help to bring some much needed conceptual clarity to academic and policy discourses about the use and utility of risk communication in advanced liberal societies

Topics: P210 Public Relations, L300 Sociology, C800 Psychology, P990 Mass Communications and Documentation not elsewhere classified, C880 Social Psychology
Publisher: Society for Risk Analysis
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2008.01108.x
OAI identifier:

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