Global risks and their systemic consequences

stmm. 2020 (3): 80-98



Doctor of Sciences in Sociology, Head of the Department of Social Expertise, Institute of Sociology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (12 Shovkovychna St., Kyiv, 01021)

The purpose of the article is to clarify the essence of global risks. Global risks are considered in terms of the ratio of the likelihood and consequences of adverse events that can cause harm or damage, while being global in nature and impact. The systemic nature of global risks has been identified as a defining feature of their current manifestation. A systematic approach to determining the source of modern global risks is used. It is defined that the main risks of the last decade are the risks of the ecological, geopolitical and social spheres, while technological risks are also being developed. It is noted that overall picture of global trends and global risks is constantly changing due to distinction of risks with extremely high growth rates. WEF has determined the forecast for 2020 regarding global trends and global risks is analyzed. For the first time in the ten-year history of global risks study, environmental threats took all positions within the top five risks of high probability of occurrence and three positions in the top 5 risks in terms of their impact. Other two major risks in terms of impact are the usage of weapons of mass destruction and the water crisis. The environmental risks by probability of their occurrence include: weather cataclysms, failure in fight against climate change, natural disasters, reduction of biodiversity, and anthropogenic environmental disasters. Three of these, related to failures in the fight against climate change, reduction of biodiversity and weather cataclysms — are also among the five risks with the most negative consequences. The growing risks of stagnation in the global economy were also noted, including those caused by increasing trend towards emphasizing national economic policy, and local political polarization in consequence of socio-economic intensifying inequality, as well as dissatisfaction of citizens with the way governments try to solve this problem. It is defined that environmental risks, including the ones caused by climate change, are dangerous to that extent that the response to them requires not just a set of measures, but changes in consumption patterns.

Keywords: global risks, global problems, global trends, systemic nature, degree of influence, degree of probability


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Received 27.05.2020