Analyzing Complicity in Risk

Authors

  • Jerry Busby

    Corresponding author
      *Address correspondence to Jerry Busby, Department of Management Science, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4YX UK, tel: +44 1524 594447; j.s.busby@lancaster.ac.uk.
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*Address correspondence to Jerry Busby, Department of Management Science, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4YX UK, tel: +44 1524 594447; j.s.busby@lancaster.ac.uk.

Abstract

When risks generate anger rather than fear, there is at least someone who regards the imposition of those risks as wrongdoing; and it then makes sense to speak of the involvement in producing those risks as complicity. It is particularly relevant to examine the complicity of risk bearers, because this is likely to have a strong influence on how far other actors should go in providing them with protection. This article makes a case for analyzing complicity explicitly, in parallel with normal processes of risk assessment, and proposes a framework for this analysis. It shows how it can be applied in a case study of maritime transportation, and examines the practical and theoretical difficulties of this kind of analysis. The conclusion is that the analysis has to be formative rather than summative, but that it could provide a useful way of exposing differences in the assumptions of different actors about agency and responsibility.

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