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THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE NOTION OF ‘RISK’ AND RISK REGULATION IN THE SOVIET LEGISLATION

Efim Fidrya (EFidrya@kantiana.ru)

The Institute for the Humanities, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad, Russia

Citation: Fidrya E. (2017) Institutsionalizatsiya ponyatiya i regulirovaniye riska v sovetskom normativnom pole [The institutionalization of the notion of ‘risk’ and risk regulation in the Soviet legislation]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 20(2): 40-61 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2017.20.2.3

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Abstract. In this paper the author handles the dynamics of use of the ‘risk’ category in the Soviet and international normative acts during the Soviet period. As a theoretical framework he employed the governmentality approach by M. Foucault, and U. Beck's ‘risk society’ framework. The author applies methods of the frequency count of the use of 'risk' category in the normative acts and provides the quantitative and substantial characterization of the representation dynamics of the ‘risk’ category and its regulation in the administrative and normative field.

The author distinguishes three stages in the risk representation in the normative field: the first half of the XX century, 50-70s and 80s. The early stage is characterized by the pre-modern risk image portrayed as an external threat, with the elements of the so-called ‘insurance approach’. During the 50-70s risk was depicted as subjected to the active regulation within the normative field to be managed according to the principles of the neo-liberal approach (avoiding risk by the social actors defined as subjected to this risk). On the third stage aforementioned tendencies gained further development; the practices of an international normative regulation of the new global anthropogenic risks are being developed, and in the Soviet normative field the epidemiological approach aimed at the preventive avoiding of the various threats in the socially constructed professional, demographic and geographic groups denoted on the basis of the statistically detected risk factors becomes widespread.

In conclusion the author argues that the specific “risk-dispositif” with its standards, norms, procedures, risk evaluation and risk regulation forms and practices has been formed in the Soviet normative field.

Keywords: risk society, normative acts, risk institutionalization, governmentality, neoliberal approach

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