同志社大学ヒューマン・セキュリティ研究センター年報, 2004, 第1号, 115-129.
An Approach to Social Assurance for Human Security
This article defines "anzen(safety)" as an objectively low risk situation and "anshin(assurance)" as a subjectively low risk situation, then discusses the relationship between them. Today, planners of safety Policy in governments and industries are needed to manage not only Public safety but also their assurance. Building assurance, however, is difficult and is rarely achieved harmoniously. Experts of risk management often attribute the difficulty to the public pursuit of a zero-risk society and the irrational judgment on risks involving technologies and human activities. Contrary to their arguments, the results of a psychological experiment and a social survey shown in this article suggest that the public does not always pursue zero risk environments. This suggests that the public image the experts describe lacks a realistic validity. Recent studies in risk analysis place emphasis on the trust in risk managers as a critical factor for the public attitude toward hazardous technologies and activities. Information disclosure and public participation promoted by government and industry from the mid 1990s are interpreted as the procedures to resolve the problems caused by lack of trust. Even when these procedures are built in the social decision systems, it is impossible to achieve a perfectly assured society in principle. The author concludes that studies are needed to explore how we could build social trust under uncertainty that cannot be eliminated by information disclosure and public participation.