The Formations of Terror

Bell, Simon (2017). The Formations of Terror. London: Cambridge Scholars.


There are a host of books about fear but, as yet, there has been little attempt to methodically and systemically assess how fear emerges and is targeted. In this highly readable yet rigorous book, Simon Bell sets about the methodical assessment of fear as an emergent property. Working from the personal experience of fear as ‘everyman’ and then by use of examples and case studies, the author derives the main principles which lie behind the manifestation of fear of all kinds. Using climate change as his specific point of focus, fear is seen to be a major force in problem assessment and analysis and, by accident or intention, a significant confusion to human decision making. By the systemic development of the main features of the Paradigm of Fear and the identification of Fear Amplifying and Fear Attenuating systems, the author demonstrates how fear can be contained, how new social forms can arise and how new behaviours and social qualities can mitigate the Formations of Terror.

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