A Disciplinary Perspective on the Epistemological Status of Risk
A unique multidisciplinary perspective on the risk literature is used to establish a fresh and provocative argument regarding the epistemological understanding and definition of risk. Building on economic conceptualizations that distinguish risk from uncertainty and argue that risk is an ordered application of knowledge to the unknown, the survey identifies each of the disciplines as having a particular knowledge approach with which they confront the unknown so as to order its randomness and convert it into a risk proposition. This epistemological approach suggests the concept of risk can act as a mirror, reflecting the preoccupations, strengths, and weaknesses of each discipline as they grapple with uncertainty. The conclusion suggests that the different disciplines can, and desirably should, act in concert toward a cumulative appreciation of risk that progresses our understanding of the concept. One way in which the article challenges risk experts to join disciplinary forces in a collaborative effort is to holistically appreciate and articulate the concept of political risk calculation.
Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at [www.blackwell-synergy.com.]