Taming Risks through Dialogues: the Rationality and Functionality of Discursive Institutions in Risk Society
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‘Discourse,’ in the sense of communicative and argumentative interaction, has become a concept central to the understanding of modern society and its culture. This notion is now also gaining importance in the field of environmental studies. In this context, the term refers to the problem of how to communicate rationally about risks in modern society. Discourse is seen as a solution to environmental problems, as an institutional form especially well-suited to what Ulrich Beck refers to as ‘risk society.’ Discourse thus appears not only as a rational, but also as a functional, device for addressing the collective risks generated by modern societies.
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