Public Risk Perceptions in a 'Double-Risk' Society: The Case of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania

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This article explores how public risk perceptions and attitudes to nuclear power in Lithuania are shaped by a complex blend of what Beck (1992) [Risk Society. Towards a New Modernity, London, Sage] in risk-society theory calls the social distribution of 'goods' and 'bads'. It argues that the Lithuanian society and several other transitional and developing societies are facing a 'double-risk': first, the complex uncertainty related to the transition to the market economy and democratic governance; second, the increasing social anxiety about high-consequence risks, such as those associated with nuclear power, and the inability of modern institutions to cope with such risks. Empirical evidence is provided by case-study material of the Ignalina nuclear power plant and public opinion survey results.

Document Type: Regular Paper


Publication date: September 1, 2000

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