Vulnerability in a world risk society

Smith, Mark J. (2012). Vulnerability in a world risk society. In: Butcher, Melissa and Papaioannou, Theo eds. New Perspectives in International Development. International Development. London: Bloomsbury Press, pp. 113–142.



This chapter poses a direct challenge to theories of the risk society in both the developed and developing world. It highlights the complex impacts of multiple vulnerabilities and argues that accounts of risk, vulnerability and insecurities need to take more account of empirical context. Using case studies in North America and the Caribbean, the author highlights how historic and contemporary risks can coincide as do the varied combined effects of global risks and local hazards and change. This builds on the author's previous work on clusters of injustice to highlight how risk containment in developed countries is often the consequence of the export of environmental degradation and other problems to the ends of the global supply chain, in developing countries.

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