Law Commission of Canada

  • Risk and Trust

    Including or Excluding Citizens?

    By Law Commission of Canada     January 2007

    In recent years politicians, academics and social commentators have discussed and debated aspects of the “risk society.” For some, embracing a risk frame fulfils a socially productive role in that it helps identify and manage a range of harms and fears. However, as this multidisciplinary collection illustrates, peeling back the veneer of this often highly technocratic discourse reveals a series of moral judgments about the constitution of risk and its role in organizingcontemporary society. Exploring a broad range of case studies–including young women in conflict with the law, child soldiers, welfare recipients, genetic testing, biotechnology and new technologies–the contributors explore whether the concept of risk has undermined our sense of trust in society, effectively eroding the definition of citizenship, marginalizing particular people and groups, needlessly heightening societal fears and rendering invisible social inequalities.