You are here

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
November 9, 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

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3: Crime and Security

Chapter 5: Landscapes of Security

Preview this book

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
*180 day rental

ISBN: 9781412940702

ISBN: 9781412940696

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.