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Risk and self-respect

Baderin, A. and Barnes, L. (2020) Risk and self-respect. British Journal of Political Science, 50 (4). pp. 1419-1437. ISSN 1469-2112

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0007123418000212


What is the nature of the experience of risk? Risk can impose distinctive burdens on individuals: making us anxious, impairing our relationships, and limiting our ability to plan our lives. On the other hand, risky situations are sometimes exciting, liberating, and even empowering. The article explores the idea that risk can result in benefits for the individuals who bear it. Specifically, we evaluate John Tomasi’s claim that the experience of economic risk is a precondition of individual self-respect. Philosophical claims about the social bases of self-respect such as Tomasi’s have not been subjected to sufficient empirical scrutiny. The article exemplifies an alternative approach, by integrating philosophical argument with the analysis of large-scale survey data. Whilst Tomasi’s claim has force in some contexts, evidence from the economic domain shows that risk tends to undermine rather than to support self-respect.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:79482
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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