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Risk Balance and Security

Risk Balance and Security

August 2007 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
In confronting risk, individuals and all agencies cannot simply respond with endless resources in mitigating the damage that hazards engender—they have to establish a balance. Risk Balance and Security combines the conceptual underpinnings of risk assessment and management at both the individual and agency level with a clear analysis of how these relate to challenges faced in responding to crime, terrorism, public health threats, and environmental disasters. With a new understanding of how decisions are made about threats and hazards, and how this understanding may be applied in our preparedness, prevention, and response strategies, we will be able to better conceptualize our task for enhancing security in the future.

Key Features
  • Links theoretical ideas with real world examples: Clear discussions are presented of how risk is constructed in modern society and why that is important in our efforts to develop strategies to enhance security.
  • Provides an interdisciplinary treatment of risk: To capture the realities facing public security today, ideas are drawn from a number of different disciplines.
  • Illustrates real applications of solutions to security problems: Students are shown how agencies are dealing with specific threats to security.
  • Compares individual-level and institutional-level assessments of risk and security: These divergences enable readers to appreciate the complexities of establishing security.
Intended Audience
This is an excellent text for undergraduate and graduate courses such as Disaster Research, Security, Police Studies, Emergency Planning, and Crime and Public Policy in the departments of criminology, criminal justice, political science, and public health.

Chapter One: The Centrality of Security
Security Matters

Risk Positions

Approaching Security

Modelling Security

Studying Security from Many Perspectives


Notes to Chapter 1

Chapter Two: Values and Choices in Constructing Security
The Values of Security

The Invention of Risk Society

The Context of Risk Society

Applying Risk Society to Risk Balance

Culture and Messages About Security

Judging Hazards, Threats, and Risks


Routines, Experts, and Trust

Types of Resources

Security From What?

Security for Whom?


Notes to Chapter 2

Chapter Three: Crime and Security
How Much Crime and How Can It Be Addressed

Policing and Crime Risk

Protecting the Public: Community Policing and Intelligence-Led Policing

Who Polices Whom?

Security Against Crime

Profiling Offenders

Profiling Victims

Assessing Crime Information

Profiling Routines, Spaces, and Places

Preventing Crime?

Crime Events and Risk Balance


Notes to Chapter 3

Chapter Four: Modern Terrorism
Terrorism and Security

Who Are the Terrorists and What Threat Do They Pose?


Who "We" Are

Intelligence: Information and Knowledge

"We Have Some Planes..."

Dealing With Vulnerability

Identification of Vulnerability and Vulnerability-Producting Mechanisms

Raising Awareness of Vulnerabiity

Accurate Information

Readiness and Response


Notes to Chapter 4

Chapter Five: Landscapes of Security: Health and the Environment
The Physical Landscape: Health

In Sickness and in Health

Jurisdiction and Spillover Effects

Brakes and Accelerators in the Local and Global Health Environments

Terrorist Events as Health Events


The Physical Landscape: The Environment

Defining Environmental Security

Power and Knowledge

The Blurry Boundaries Between Natural, Man-Made, and Other Disasters

The Evolution of Disaster

The Evolution of Hurricane Katrina

The Mitigation Stage

The Preparedness Stage

The Response Stage

The Recovery Stage

The Complications of Hurricane Katrina

Vulnerable Risk Positions

Communication Breakdowns

Failed Leadership



Notes to Chapter 5

Chapter Six: The Stages of Risk Balance and Security
Preparedness and Readiness


Crisis Drills and Table Top Exercises: Imagining Dire Consequences

Cross-Agency Cooperation


First Responders and Victims

Leadership in Response

The Media and Response Coordination

Recovery and Prevention


Goverment Compensation

Returning to Normal: Re-Establishing Routines


Notes to Chapter 6

Chapter Seven: Concluding Thoughts
Becoming Secure: What Have We Learned?

Establishing Security

Practical Steps to Security

Principle 1. Choise

Principle 2. Decision-Making

Principle 3. Cooperation

Principle 4. Planning

Principle 5. Institutional Learning

Principle 6. Communication

Concluding Thoughts

Note to Chapter 7

Suggested Readings

About the Authors

An excellent summary of theory and concepts

Professor Daniel Valentine
Department Business Studies, Regent's University
December 8, 2015

Good book for understanding security and associated risk in a broader sense

Miss Anita Finnegan
Department of Computing, Dundalk Institute of Technology
December 4, 2013

This book will be used by my phd students who research risk. It is well written. The authors are very well informed and write lucidly. A must for all beginners and adanced students of risk management.

Dr Nandish Patel
Brunel Business School, Brunel University
May 10, 2012

A useful text, applies risk in a variety of settings. Explains the connection between risk and security in contemporary society

Mr Stephen Whattam
Sociology, university of bradford
October 12, 2011

A very useful text for Security and Risk Management students.

Mrs Nikki Shelton
Department of Criminology, University of Leicester
November 18, 2010

A useful book for the event management course, but not as specific to this field as I would have liked. Some sections of the book were quite in depth and offered some insightful information with particular emphasis on the terrorist threat. Placed on the supplemental list.

Mr Gerard Ryan
Business Department, Staffordshire University
August 5, 2010

Hopefully this book will help my students to understand the relevance of risk in contemporary CJ

Dr Carol Borland Jones
Natural and Social Sciences, Gloucestershire University
April 20, 2010
Key features
  • Logical, linear organization will serve a wide audience.
  • Offers examples and explanatins in an easy-to-read and non-technical format
  • Presents an interdisciplinary approach to the study of risk assessment and public security

For instructors

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