Insurance and the Politics of Uncertainty
'As Frank C. Spooner noted in 1983, it was insurance and not war or diplomacy what made possible the opening of the markets in the Far East in the first decade of the seventeenth century (Risk at Sea: Amsterdam Insurance and Maritime Europe, 1766-1780, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press). Travelling with traders, insurance not only enabled venturing into unknown markets but also began to effect the globalisation of a rationality of thinking and managing uncertainty as risk. Insurance, more than a financial instrument is the embodiment of a rationality of thinking and managing uncertainty, a crucial element for the understanding of western globalization in the modern period'.
(Lobo-Guerrero, 2015, review of 'World Insurance: the evolution of a global risk network', ed. Borscheid and Viggo Haueter, OUP, 2012, Business History, 57:4, 638)
This programme of research, spanning between 2007 and 2016, has been devoted to exploring how technologies of risk have informed understandings of power and security in global politics. It has studied how insurance has constituted a technology of liberal governance deeply embedded in how security, war, and life have been understood in the modern period. By analyzing the details and implications of such embeddedness, the programme has theorized insurance in relation to biopolitics, sovereignty and value.
A trilogy of research monographs and a number of journal articles have resulted from this programme.Lobo-Guerrero, L. (2016). Insuring Life: Value, Security and Risk . London: Routledge.
RUG investigator involved: prof.dr. Luis Lobo-Guerrero
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