Risk, Uncertainty and Government
By Pat O'Malley
Routledge-Cavendish – 2005 – 224 pages
Both risk and uncertainty are neo-liberal concepts, which can be viewed as complementary techniques for governing diverse aspects of life, rather than natural states of things. This new book examines the way these constructs govern the production of wealth through 'uncertain' speculation and 'calculable' investment formulae.
The way in which risk and uncertainty govern the minimisation of harms through insurance and through the uncertain practices of 'reasonable foresight' is discussed, and O Malley looks at the way these same techniques were historically forged out of moral and social beliefs about how to govern properly. In addition, the book analyzes is how, during this process, ideas such as 'contract' and distinctions between insurance and gambling were invented to order to 'properly' govern the risky and uncertain future.
Risk, Uncertainty and Government. From Independence to Social Security. Enterprising Liberalism. Uncertainty, Liberalism and Contract. Risky Contracts: Gambling, Speculation and Insurance. Insurance, Actuarialism and Thrift. Risk, Crime Control and Criminal Justice. Risking Drug Use. Risk, Uncertainty and Freedom