Arnez, J (2016) Examining Risk as a Political Construct: The Impact of Changing Views of the Prevailing Threats to Public Safety on the Definition of Risk. In: Criminal Justice and Security in Central and Eastern Europe: Safety, Security and Social Control in Local Communities. Ljubljana: Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, 221 - 228. ISBN 978-961-6821-57-5

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This paper examines whether the concept of risk in legal responses of Western liberal democracies is politically constructed and defined according to changing views of the prevailing threats to public safety.
Based on theoretical concepts of risk and uncertainty, this paper analyses Britain’s [UK’s] control orders, terrorism prevention and investigation measures [TPIMs] and the global threat of terrorism to consider whether risks are unreal and politically constructed or, rather, real, but compelling for political manipulation.
The paper shows that, rather than risks being politically constructed, their political contexts have been securitized to politicize law and to justify preventive responses in the absence of a criminal conviction. It concludes that contemporary democracies might be using the rhetoric of risk to label unwanted segments of population and outlines the possible consequences of these practices for public safety.
Research limitations:
The paper draws on the review of theoretical concepts of risk and provides a critical analysis of control orders and TPIMs in the UK context as well as terrorist threats from a global perspective. Its conclusions cannot be generalised across jurisdictions and should be subject to future empirical research.
Although much research in the UK and elsewhere has sought to examine risk as a political construct and/or a tool for political manipulation, few authors have considered the implications of such practices for segments of unwanted populations and for the perceptions of public safety. These considerations seem topical in the context of the current refugee crisis, particularly in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: The final version of this publication and all relevant information related to it, including copyrights and more, can be found on the publisher website at; This is a condensed version of conference abstracts.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV1 Criminology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV7231 Criminal justice administration
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV8301 Penology. Prisons. Corrections
J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
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Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 11:46
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 11:46

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