Risk management and societal safety

Researchers at the University of Stavanger more or less invented risk management and societal safety as a field of research.

Three firefighters putting out flames

With 15 full-time academics – most of them professors – and some 25 PhD students, this research group is matched by no-one in the world.

Risk management
The risk analysis and risk management research field embraces principles, models and methods for understanding, analysing, describing, communicating and managing risk. Its results are applied in the business sector – particularly the oil industry, banking/finance, infrastructure, transport, food and health, as well as in the societal sector. The research has a focus on foundational issues in risk science.

Societal safety
The societal safety research field is related to extraordinary events, strains and stresses exposed on society, threats and risks in complex socio-technical systems, and various processes which could weaken social institutions.

Research into societal safety and security encounters many dilemmas and issues. These include 

  • the relationship between freedom and security/safety
  • technological arrangements available to society and the consequences of utilising them
  • expectations placed upon authorities for creating a safe and secure society
  • the capabilities for fulfilling the expectations
  • knowledge about the risks and hazards compared with how much people, organisations and society are willing to pay to deal with them 
  • a long-lasting perception of safety and security, and the increasing vulnerability of societal structures
  • the responsibility for operating critical infrastructure and the responsibility for providing societal safety and security.

For more information, please visit our Centre for risk management and societal safety.