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WP Series » WP Series 2009

Lee, Seungyoon Sophia. 2009. "Rethinking the New Risk Discussion: Risk Shifts in 18 Post-industrial Economies". COMPASSS WP Series 2009-56. Published online 5 November 2009.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\Lee2009.pdf.

Abstract: The discussion of "new risks" in the field of social policy started to gain attention in the late 1990s. It is commonly argued that new risks are provoked by deindustrialization and/or globalization and that new risks tend to be more concentrated among the young, women and low skilled individuals. This study commences its inquiry with a scientific conceptualization of social risk in an attempt to critically rethink the argument of new risk. A reevaluation of the concept is followed by an empirical investigation of the question whether there is such a thing as new risk and whether there might be a convergence in the characteristics of new risk as the literature suggests. A lack of comparative empirical evidence on new risks in the existing literature calls for an investigation of advanced economies both from the global West, as well as the East. 18 countries are selected in order to provide a comparative account to understanding new risk. These are comparatively analyzed using the fuzzy-set qualitative analysis method (fs/QCA) discover different types of social risks and to measure degrees of changes in relation to social risk. In sum, this paper aims to answer two questions: 1) What is new risk? and 2) How do the characteristic of risks differ in different post-industrial countries? This study contributes to the new risk discussion not only theoretically and empirically, but also methodologically.

Larsen, Mattias. 2009. "Vulnerable Daughters in Times of Change: A Set-Theoretic Analysis of the 'Missing Girls' Problem in India". COMPASSS WP Series 2009-55. Published online 5 October 2009.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\Larsen2009.pdf.

Abstract: In India, girls are aborted on a massive scale merely because they are girls. Underlying this widespread problem is the puzzling fact that the problem exists simultaneously with India experiencing remarkable development and change. Daughters have become vulnerable or even seen as dispensable in a time of general improvement in welfare and female status, and deep economic and social changes. The central argument of this article is that paying specific attention to this counterintuitive contradiction is key to explaining the problem. The findings centre on the most prominent theme in people's accounts; a contradiction between the continued importance of the cultural factors which for so long have established that a son is necessary in ways that a daughter cannot be and socio-economic changes that are challenging the foundations for these very same factors. The uncertainty over sons fulfilling expectations that this contradiction entails, rather than tilt the balance in favour of daughters within the context of a small family and lack of alternative arrangements for social support, has instead increased the relative importance of sons and intensified negative consequences for daughters. The article applies a set theoretic systematic comparison of eight villages incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data. The use of fuzzy sets facilitates a critical and alternative analysis based on a reconceptualisation grounded in intensive fieldwork which captures an important contextual nature of the problem. Two separate paths constituting contexts in which it becomes tragically rational to exclude daughters are found to lead to the problem.


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