Risk in Extreme Environments presents a wide-ranging discussion of approaches for assessing and managing extreme risks. Extreme events are not only severe, but also outside the normal range of experience of the system in question, and can include environmental catastrophe; engineering failure; financial or business meltdown; and nuclear or other extreme terrorism. The book focuses on synthesizing research results in a way that provides insights useful to decision makers, and enables them to ask probing questions about the risks faced by their organizations, identify creative solutions, and minimize the neglect of extreme risks that can come from a focus on mundane or ordinary management challenges.
The book details case studies on nuclear power, infectious diseases, and global catastrophic risks, in addition to sections on risk assessment, risk management, and risk perceptions. Since effective management benefits from an interdisciplinary perspective, the chapter authors include experts in economics, engineering, geography, law, political science, psychology, sociology, and science in addition to risk analysis.
Risk in Extreme Environments is an accessible and valuable resource for risk managers and other decision makers responsible for large complex business and government decisions, while also providing enough detail and references to be informative for risk analysts interested in learning more about technical aspects of the various methods.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Extreme Events (Vicki Bier), Part 1 ASSESSING THE RISKS OF EXTREME EVENTS, Chapter 1: Probabilistic Risk Analysis (Louis Anthony Cox Jr. and Vicki Bier), Chapter 2: The Meaning of Black Swans (Terje Aven), Part 2 MANAGING THE RISKS OF EXTREME EVENTS, Chapter 3: High Performance in Extreme Environments (Ron Westrum), Chapter 4: Decision Making on Trial: The Extreme Situation at Fukushima Dai Ichi (Sébastien Travadel, Christophe Martin, Franck Guarnieri), Chapter 5: Prevention versus Response: Applications in the Management of Disease (Amy Hagerman, Bruce McCarl, Aklesso Egbendewe-Mondzozo and Levan Elbakidze), Chapter 6: The Feasibility and Value of Adaptive Strategies for Extreme Risks (Robert Goble), Part 3 PERCEPTIONS OF EXTREME RISKS, Chapter 7: It Won’t Happen to Me: the Behavioral Impact of Extreme Risks (Eyal Ert and Ido Erev), Chapter 8: Social Amplification of Risk and Extreme Events (Roger E. Kasperson), Part 4 CASE STUDIES OF EXTREME RISKS, Chapter 9: Safety and Severe Accidents in Nuclear Reactors (Michael Corradini and Vicki Bier), Chapter 10: Mitigating Extreme Infectious Disease Disaster Risk (Terrence M. O’ Sullivan), Chapter 11: Global Catastrophes: The Most Extreme Risks (Seth D. Baum and Anthony M. Barrett)
Dr. Bier is a Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has written a number of papers on extreme risk, and is a coauthor or editor of four books in addition to this one.
Risk, extremes, and the steps toward synthesizing and managing them are fundamental challenges that society faces. This book captures these important themes comprehensively, effectively framing them for decision-makers. Bier draws upon her longstanding reputation in these fields and has assembled an exemplary set of international experts from multiple sectors and disciplines to address these critical areas. Together these contributions act as a foundation for advancing risk-based dimensions of decision-making that uniquely draw together diverse perspectives. The triangular relationships among science, organizations and public perceptions are evident in this work. Extending beyond theory, these elements are applied to a rich and enduring set of cases of extremes that reflect the range of decisions that risk managers face. - Rae Zimmerman, Ph.D, Professor of Planning and Public Administration, New York University – Wagner Graduate School of Public Service