Risk governance

Emerging Risks in the 21st Century


An Agenda for Action


ISBN Number:    


The 21st Century has so far witnessed a host of large-scale disasters in various parts of the world including: windstorms, flooding, new diseases infesting both humans and animals, terrorist attacks and major disruptions to critical infrastructures.


It is not just the nature of major risks that seems to be changing, but also the context in which risks are evolving as well as society’s capacity to manage them. 


This book explores the implications of these developments for economy and society in the 21st century, focussing in particular on the potentially significant increase in the vulnerability of major systems. 


It concentrates on five large risk clusters: natural disasters, technological accidents, infectious diseases, food safety and terrorism, identifies the challenges facing OECD countries and sets out recommendations for governments and the private sector as to how the management of emerging systemic risks might be improved.




 Mulit-lingual summaries


Summaries available in Chinese, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish


 Assessment and Recommendations

 Read the Assessment and Recommendations


 Table of contents


Introduction and summary

Emerging systemic risks

Risk assessment

Risk prevention

Emergency management

Recovery issues

Conclusions and recommendations



 Find out more


For more information on Risk Management, contact jack.radisch@oecd.org or Stéphane.jacobzone@oecd.org


OECD work on Risk Management: www.oecd.org/gov/risk


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