Systemic Risks as Challenge for Policy Making in Risk Governance


  • Andreas Klinke King's College London
  • Ortwin Renn University of Stuttgart



systemic risks, risk management, risk classification, risk management strategies, deliberation, complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity, ripple effects


Systemic risks are a product of profound and rapid technological, economic and social changes that the modern world experiences every day. They are characterised by high complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity, and ripple effects. Due to these characters systemic risks are overextending established risk management and creating new, unsolved challenges for policy making in risk governance. Their negative effects are often pervasive, impacting fields beyond the obvious primary areas of harm. The article relates to an integrative risk concept including evaluation criteria, different risk classes and corresponding management strategies for the handling of systemic risks. We argue that a deliberative approach is needed for risk management and policy making in risk governance to prevent, mitigate or control systemic risks. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0601330


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Author Biographies

Andreas Klinke, King's College London

Andreas KLINKE is lecturer for risk management in the International Policy Institute at King's College London. KLINKE received his degree of doctor in political science at the Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany. He was director of the risk research team at the Center for Technology Assessment in Stuttgart (Germany). He was also researcher of the German Advisory Council on Global Change. KLINKE published on risk evaluation, risk management, international governance, and public deliberation.

Ortwin Renn, University of Stuttgart

Ortwin RENN is full professor for environmental and technology sociology at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He is Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation "Precautionary Risk Management", member of the International Risk Governance Council in Geneva and several risk-related advisory boards. He was Chair of the German Federal Committee on the Harmonisation of Risk Standards (2001-2003). He has published widely on risk management and participative procedures. He has more than 25 years of intense experience with many innovative forms of stakeholder involvement and public participation on a multitude of issues.




How to Cite

Klinke, A., & Renn, O. (2006). Systemic Risks as Challenge for Policy Making in Risk Governance. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(1).



Theorising Risk