(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2013)

Document title

Beyond world risk society? A critique of Ulrich Beck’s world risk society thesis as a framework for understanding risk associated with human activity in outer space

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

ORMROD J. (1) ;
(1) School of Applied Social Science, Univ., Brighton, ROYAUME-UNI


This paper examines the risks generated by human activity in outer space, exploring the possibility of extending Ulrich Beck’s ‘world risk society’ thesis beyond the globe. Through the case studies looking at (1) the use of nuclear power in space missions, (2) the proliferation of space debris, and (3) proposed space solutions to environmental problems, it argues for the usefulness of some of Beck’s concepts whilst providing a critique of some of his central theoretical assumptions. The article finishes by arguing that Beck’s understanding of a ‘reinvention of politics’ based on the intrusion of risk into everyday life cannot cope with the kinds of risk discussed in the paper. It concludes that it is only through greater recognition of the depth of the economic and psychic structures at work that the politics of risk in outer space can be challenged


Article of periodic

published at : Environment and planning. D. Society & space / ISSN 0263-7758

Editor : Pion, London - ROYAUME-UNI (1983)

Millesime : 2013, vol. 31, no4 [pp. 727-744]

Bibliographic references : 3 p.



Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : doi:10.1068/d16511

Tous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2013
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