© 2014

Ulrich Beck

Pioneer in Cosmopolitan Sociology and Risk Society

  • Ulrich Beck

Part of the SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice book series (BRIEFSPIONEER, volume 18)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Ulrich Beck

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ulrich Beck
      Pages 15-48
  3. Ulrich Beck’s Work in the Perspective of Colleagues

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 49-49
    2. Ino Rossi
      Pages 59-64
    3. Yishai Blank
      Pages 65-69
    4. Zygmunt Bauman
      Pages 71-75
  4. Selected Key Texts by Ulrich Beck

  5. Ulrich Beck
    Pages E1-E1
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 188-193

About this book


This book presents Ulrich Beck, one of the world’s leading sociologists and social thinkers, as a Pioneer in Cosmopolitan Sociology and Risk Society. His world risk society theory has been confirmed by recent disasters – events that have shaken modern society to the core, signaling the end of an era in which comprehensive insurance could keep us safe. Due to its own successes, modern society now faces failure: while in the past experiments were conducted in a lab, now the whole world is a test bed. Whether nuclear plants, genetically modified organisms, nanotechnology – if any of these experiments went wrong, the consequences would have a global impact and would be irreversible. Beck recommends ignoring the mathematical morality of expert opinions, which seek to identify the level of a given risk by calculating the probability of its occurrence. Instead, man’s fear of collapse should offer an opportunity for international cooperation and a cosmopolitan turn in the social sciences.


Cosmopolitanism Cosmopolitization Individualization Reflexive Modernization Risk Society Ulrich Beck Risk

Editors and affiliations

  • Ulrich Beck
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of SociologyMunichGermany

Bibliographic information


“The book will be of interest to different readers for different reasons. … The questions and problems raised by the book are of significance across the board in the social sciences; the book is not only addressed to sociologists, but can also provide food for thought in the political sciences. The book undoubtedly reflects the wide recognition and significant international acknowledgement Beck has received.” (Angelika Poferl, European Political Science, Vol. 15, 2016)