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The practice of risk governance: lessons from the field

Journal article
Authors Åsa Boholm
Hervé Corvellec
Marianne Karlsson
Published in Journal of Risk Research
Volume 15
Issue 1
Pages 1-20
ISSN 1366-9877
Publication year 2012
Published at Center for Public Sector Research (CEFOS)
Pages 1-20
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2011.58...
Keywords risk governance, IRGC framework, practice, decision-making, regulation
Subject categories Water in nature and society, Social Anthropology, Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

Abstract

In contradistinction to generic and formal risk governance models such as the IRGC framework, this paper advocates the relevance of a contextual and practice-based approach to organizational risk governance. Three cases illustrate the socially situated dynamics of risk governance practice: public transportation management, river management, and railway planning. Risk governance is shown to derive from how actors, in their daily activities, mediate multi-level and regulatory institutional constraints, and solve actual problems through routines, trust, mutual understanding and not least, shared commitment to the societal role of infrastructure. Our findings underscore that risk governance takes place in contexts that are historically, spatially and institutionally situated. We therefore suggest that one needs to pay attention to the characteristics of this contextuality to understand the social dynamics of governance.

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