Humankind is confronted with two types of risks: conventional and systemic risks. Conventional risks can be contained in space and time, follow linear cause–effect relationships, and require effective and pointed interventions into the cause–effect chain. Systemic risks, however, are characterized by high complexity, transboundary effects, stochastic relationships, and nonlinear cause–effect patterns with tipping points and often associated with less public attention than they deserve. Systemic risks range from natural hazards, environmental threats, and financial crisis to cybersecurity. Due to their special features, systemic risks are overextending established risk management and creating new, unsolved challenges for policy making in risk governance. Their negative effects are often pervasive, impacting fields beyond the obvious primary areas of harm. The following chapter describes the distinct features of systemic risks and explains their properties. It focuses on the issue of risk perception and the likelihood of insufficient attention by policymakers and the public at large to systemic risks. The main argument is that a graphic representation and simulation of evolving systemic risks and a participatory deliberative approach of inclusive risk governance are needed in order to prevent, mitigate, or control systemic risks.
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Renn, O. (2022). The Systemic Risk Perspective: Social Perception of Uncertainty and Tipping Points. In P. A. Wilderer, M. Grambow, M. Molls, & K. Oexle (Eds.), Strategies for Sustainability of the Earth System (pp. 15-31). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
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