Risk: the need for and benefits of an interdisciplinary perspective

David Carson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Risk is ubiquitous in our lives. From slipping in the shower in the morning to taking too much medicine at night. Technological, medical and other developments have given us more control over lives.'Fate', associated with determinism and Shakespeare's preferred expression, has given way to 'risk' as more events become more controllable or, at least, more predictable. 'Risk' has also become a ubiquitous expression. We are said to be living in a risk society' where the key issue, it is argued, is no longer the distribution of wealth but the distribution of risks (Beck, 1992). 'Risk' is also argued to be the new paradigm for the analysis of social policy - for example, child protection and the delivery of mental health services (Kemshall, 2002). It is central to the analytical and advisory roles of many practising psychologists, not just those in forensic roles. And, in recent years, risk has been the focus for much research within the psychology and law tradition (certainly much more than implied by the sparse references to this chapter).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of psychology in legal contexts
EditorsDavid Carson, Ray Bull
Place of PublicationChichester
ISBN (Print)9780471498742
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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