Risk Politics

What is the relation between politics and the everyday experience of risk and uncertainty? That is the central question this sociological research project at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands aims to answer. We focus on politics as culture, emotions and meaning-making in concrete interactions between people to find an answer.

On this website we provide you with an overview of this research project and its results. Here you can also find more information about the PhD dissertation and public defense by Bert de Graaff. Reach out to us through our contact form if you would like to learn more or be engaged. Please subscribe to stay informed about our findings and upcoming presentations and events.

Our case-study is a prime example of a very successful, yet controversial technology: antennas for mobile phones and the radio-frequent electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by them. For over thirty years a controversy over their potential health effects is affecting the development of this technology and people’s everyday lives, in particular when these antennas are constructed close to home. How is a technology successfully deployed and controversial all at the same time? Where do people’s worries come from? How do local protests emerge? These are some of the questions we ask in the course of this project. In so doing, we aim to contribute to the empirical, but also political and moral questions which face the governance of technological innovation, environmental health risks and scientific uncertainties.

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