A great deal of attention has been devoted to risk research. Sociologists in general have limited themselves to varying recognitions of a society at risk and have traced out the paths to disaster. The detailed research has yet to be undertaken. In Risk, now available in paperback, Niklas Luhmann develops a theoretical program for such research. His premise is that the concept of risk projects essential aspects of our description of the future onto the present. Risk is conceived as the possibility of triggering unexpected, unlikely, and detrimental consequences by means of a decision attributable to a decision maker.

chapter 1|31 pages

The Concept of Risk

chapter 2|17 pages

The Future as Risk

chapter 3|22 pages

Time Binding: Material and Social Aspects

chapter 5|18 pages

The Special Case of High Technology

chapter 6|23 pages

Decision Makers and Those Affected

chapter 7|19 pages

Protest Movements

chapter 8|30 pages

Demands on Politics

chapter 9|12 pages

Risk in the Economic System

chapter 10|15 pages

Risky Behaviour in Organizations

chapter 11|16 pages

And Science?

chapter 12|13 pages

Second-Order Observation