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Ethical aspects of risk management
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The subject of this thesis is ethical aspects of risk management. It is argued that a model for risk management needs to be developed that acknowledges several ethical aspects and most crucial among these, the individual’s right not to be unfairly exposed to risks.

Article I takes as its starting point the demand frequently expressed in the risk literature for a consistent risk management. Such consistency is often assumed to be in accordance with some kind of cost-benefit analysis. It is maintained that such a model, here called the Standard Model, does not respect the rights of the individual. Two alternative models are outlined in order to better deal with this ethical weakness, the Model of Inviolable Rights and the Model of Procedural Justice. The arguments in the alternative models evolve around the separateness of individuals, rights and fair risk taking. It is claimed that the latter model, which focuses on a fair procedure, seems most fruitful to develop.

Article II is a discussion of the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) conflict, which is well known from situations of siting potentially risky facilities. Of special concern is to investigate what the ethical premises are behind the negative characterization of the NIMBY concept. It is argued that, contrary to the assumption that the total benefit should outweigh the individual’s cost, individuals in siting scenarios have rights not to be unfairly exposed to risks.

Article III, which is co-authored with Professor Sven Ove Hansson, presents a three party model as a tool for ethical risk analysis. It is argued that ethical dimensions need to be acknowledged in the analysis of risks and that this is best done through a discussion of three parties that are involved in risk decisions – the risk-exposed, the beneficiary, and the decisionmaker. Seven crucial ethical questions are recognized and discussed regarding the relation between these parties. By using examples from the railway sector it is shown how the questions can be used to identify salient ethical features of risk management problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , vii, 20 p.
Keyword [en]
Risk, risk management, consistency, ethics, rights, cost-benefit, interpersonal weighing, decision-procedure, informed consent, NIMBY
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3948ISBN: 91-7178-346-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-3948DiVA: diva2:10143
Presentation
2006-05-23, Seminarierummet, Avd. för filosofi, KTH, Teknikringen 78, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101116Available from: 2006-05-10 Created: 2006-05-10 Last updated: 2010-11-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Consistent risk management: three models outlined
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consistent risk management: three models outlined
2005 (English)In: Journal of Risk Research, ISSN 1366-9877, E-ISSN 1466-4461, Vol. 8, no 7-8, 557-568 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article introduces three models on how to understand the demand for consistent risk management. The first model, which accords with traditional risk analysis, is called the Standard Model. In this model, the decisive criterion of whether or not to accept a risk is if the total benefit exceeds the total cost. Since this model cannot protect the individual from unfair risk exposure two more models are outlined. The arguments in the Model of Inviolable Rights and in the Model of Procedural Justice evolve around the separateness of individuals, rights and fair risk taking. It is argued that risk management needs to acknowledge a variety of morally salient factors to avoid exposing people unfairly to risks.

Keyword
Costs; Mathematical models; Risk assessment; Risk exposure; Total cost; Risk management
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5692 (URN)10.1080/13669870500085189 (DOI)000233134400001 ()2-s2.0-28044461977 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100714Available from: 2006-05-10 Created: 2006-05-10 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. The ethics of NIMBY conflicts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The ethics of NIMBY conflicts
2007 (English)In: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, ISSN 1386-2820, E-ISSN 1572-8447, Vol. 10, no 1, 23-34 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) refers to an oppositional attitude from local residents against some risk generating facility that they have been chosen to host either by government or industry. The attitude is claimed to be characteristic of someone who is positive to a facility but who wants someone else to be its host. Since siting cannot be provided if everyone has this attitude, society ends up in a worse situation. The attitude is claimed to be egoistic and irrational. Here it is argued that the NIMBY critique rests on questionable assumptions about the rightness of weighing total benefit against total cost. This weighing-principle will sometimes have to yield so that the rights of individuals can be acknowledged.

Keyword
Collective good; Cost-benefit; Ethics; Individual good; NIMBY; Rationality; Rights; Risk; Risk management
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5693 (URN)10.1007/s10677-006-9038-2 (DOI)2-s2.0-33847292944 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100714. Uppdaterad från manuskript till artikel 20100714.Available from: 2006-05-10 Created: 2006-05-10 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. A Three-Party Model Tool for Ethical Risk Analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Three-Party Model Tool for Ethical Risk Analysis
2007 (English)In: Risk Management: An International Journal, ISSN 1460-3799, E-ISSN 1743-4637, Vol. 9, no 3, 129-144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ethical aspects are crucial in the analysis of risk, but they have often been neglected. One of the reasons for this is the lack of operational tools for the ethical analysis of risks. A model for ethical risk analysis is proposed that focuses on the ethical relationships between three critical parties (or roles) that are present in almost all risk-related decisions: the risk-exposed, the beneficiary and the decision-maker. Seven crucial questions are proposed that can be used to characterize these relationships. It is shown with examples from the railway sector how they can be used to identify the salient ethical features of risk management problems.

Keyword
risk analysis, ethics, risk-exposed, beneficiary, decision-maker
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7775 (URN)10.1057/palgrave.rm.8250028 (DOI)
Note
QC 20100714Available from: 2007-12-10 Created: 2007-12-10 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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