Theories of risk management and multiple hazards: Thoughts for engineers from regulatory policy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Regulatory policy can offer a rich resource for engineers who are interested in managing multiple risks. Like engineers, regulatory policymakers routinely face decisions about risks from multiple hazards. The chapter begins by presenting two observations about risk that regulatory theorists have come to recognize as posing core challenges to multi-risk management: countervailing risk, which is ancillary risk that arises when (in)action is taken to reduce a targeted risk; and reciprocal risk, or risks that develop from interactions between multiple sources and multiple behaviors. The chapter then provides an overview of three approaches used in regulatory risk management to respond to the challenges posed by multiple risks: the precautionary principle, cost-benefit analysis, and the capability approach. These different approaches interact differently with the challenges posed by countervailing and reciprocal risks, have different strengths and drawbacks, and can pull decisionmakers in different directions when managing multiple risks. Exploring the way that policymakers manage multiple risks-and the challenges they face in doing so-may thus provide valuable insights to engineers facing multiple hazards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMulti-Hazard Approaches to Civil Infrastructure Engineering
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319297132
ISBN (Print)9783319297118
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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