CHRS 21st Anniversary SI

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Health, Risk & Society Celebrates 21 Years of Publication

Introduction to the Virtual Special Issue – Health, Risk and Society celebrates 21 years of publication

This virtual special issue has been compiled to mark, and indeed to celebrate, 21 years since the first issue of Health, Risk & Society was published. What began as a more UK-oriented venture by Andy Alaszewski and Jill Manthorpe, alongside Carfax Publishing, has since evolved into an international journal which plays a very valuable role in informing critical social science practice, theory and debate in studies of risk and uncertainty, especially as these relate to health and social care. As Editor until very recently, Andy Alaszewski has been central to this development and the journal has also benefitted from the support, marketing and distribution of Taylor & Francis/Routledge with its global reach. Recent articles include studies of risk practices, understandings and governance in Japan, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Myanmar, among other countries, and authorship and readership data make clear that this is now an increasingly global journal.

In reflecting key steps in the journey of the journal, the 21 articles brought together below reflect a somewhat less global, more ‘Anglo’ academic community – as was typical of critical studies of risk and uncertainty in the earlier phases of the growth of this intellectual field. The studies below are very much UK- or Australia-based, with one North American exception. In this and other senses the collection does not do full justice to the breadth of research published in the journal over the past 21 years. What these articles do reflect more effectively is the range of methodological approaches – from focus groups, to in-depth interviews, to survey and documentary approaches, to ethnography – and topics – pregnancy and child-birth, mental health care, child protection, food, parenting, healthcare governance, biotechnology, gender and sex – which have been common to the journal. But above all these articles were chosen by myself and the editorial board on the basis of their influence on the field, their unusual quality, being distinctive and defining of the journal, and being widely read, admired and engaged with. A glance down this list makes me grateful to have recently become Editor and very enthusiastic about how the field and the journal is continuing to develop as we head further into the journal’s third decade.


Patrick Brown, Amsterdam, February 2020.




Please enjoy the below articles with free access via this page only until April 30, 2020. 

Article TitleAuthor(s)VolumeIssueYear
Risk, Trust and HealthAndy Alaszewski532003
From authority to authenticity: The changing governance of biotechnologyNik Brown & Mike Michael432002
To what extent are women free to choose where to give birth? How discourses of risk, blame and responsibility influence birth place decisionsKirstie Coxon, Jane Sandall & Naomi J. Fulop1612014
Gender, race, and perceived risk: The 'white male' effectMelissa L. Finucane , Paul Slovic , C.K. Mertz , James Flynn & Theresa A. Satterfield222000
Clinical governance and governmentalityRob Flynn422002
Short cuts to safety: Risk and 'rules of thumb' in accounts of food choiceJudith Green , Alizon Draper & Elizabeth Dowler512003
Forensic mental health services as a risk escalator: A case study of ideals and practiceBob Heyman , Monica Shaw , Jacqueline Davies , Paul Godin & Lisa Reynolds642004
Understanding vaccination resistance: moving beyond riskPru Hobson-West532003
On ‘risk work’: Professional discourse, accountability, and everyday actionTom Horlick-Jones732005
Researching risk and the mediaJenny Kitzinger111999
Living with risk in the age of ‘intensive motherhood’: Maternal identity and infant feedingEllie J. Lee1052008
'Life would be pretty dull without risk': Voluntary risk-taking and its pleasuresDeborah Lupton & John Tulloch422002
Protecting children in an anxious societyEileen M. Munro111999
Counselling the genetically ‘at risk’: The poetics and politics of ‘non-directiveness’Alan Petersen131999
Opening up nanotechnology dialogue with the publics: Risk communication or ‘upstream engagement’?Nick Pidgeon & Tee Rogers-Hayden922007
The institutional origins of risk: A new agenda for risk researchHenry Rothstein832006
Fateful moments and the categorisation of risk: Midwifery practice and the ever-narrowing window of normality during childbirthMandie Scamell & Andy Alaszewski1422012
Risk and liminality in mental health social workJoanne Warner & Jonathan Gabe642004
Global threats, local options, personal risk: Dimensions of migrant sex work in EuropeSandra Wallman312001
Critical trust: understanding lay perceptions of health and safety risk regulationJohn Walls Dr , Nick Pidgeon , Andrew Weyman & Tom Horlick-Jones622004
Heading into the unknown: Everyday strategies for managing risk and uncertaintyJens O. Zinn1052008
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