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Article

COVID-19 as a Global Risk: Confronting the Ambivalences of a Socionatural Threat

Department of Political Science, University of Málaga, 29016 Málaga, Spain
Societies 2020, 10(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc10040092
Received: 25 October 2020 / Revised: 22 November 2020 / Accepted: 25 November 2020 / Published: 26 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Social Sciences)
On the face of it, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to fit into the risk society framework as a danger that is produced by the modernization process in its global stage. However, coronaviruses are a very particular kind of risk which risk theory does not properly explain. In fact, there is no single perspective on risk that offers a fully satisfactory account of the SARS-CoV-2, despite all of them having something valuable to contribute to the task. This paper attempts to categorize the COVID-19 pandemic as a particular kind of risk that is not adequately explained with reference to the risk society or the new epoch of the Anthropocene. On the contrary, it combines premodern and modern features: it takes place in the Anthropocene but is not of the Anthropocene, while its effects are a manifestation of the long globalization process that begins in antiquity with the early representations of the planet as a sphere. If the particular identity of the disease is considered, COVID-19 emerges as the first truly global illness and thus points to a new understanding of the vulnerability of the human species qua species. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk; COVID-19; Anthropocene; modernization; globalization; disease identity risk; COVID-19; Anthropocene; modernization; globalization; disease identity
MDPI and ACS Style

Arias-Maldonado, M. COVID-19 as a Global Risk: Confronting the Ambivalences of a Socionatural Threat. Societies 2020, 10, 92. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc10040092

AMA Style

Arias-Maldonado M. COVID-19 as a Global Risk: Confronting the Ambivalences of a Socionatural Threat. Societies. 2020; 10(4):92. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc10040092

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arias-Maldonado, Manuel. 2020. "COVID-19 as a Global Risk: Confronting the Ambivalences of a Socionatural Threat" Societies 10, no. 4: 92. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc10040092

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