01.12.2011 - 00:00:00
Report of Asia-Europe Forum on Methods and Perspectives of Risk Analysis, Nov. 17–18, 2011, City University of Hong Kong
Asia-Europe Forum on Methods and Perspectives of Risk Analysis
November 17–18, 2011, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Organizers: Prof. Gregory Lee, Prof. Werner Pascha
Report: Sunkung Choi
On November 17 and 18, 2011, the DFG Research Training Group 1613 Risk and East Asia of IN-EAST was co-organizer of the Asia-Europe Forum on Risk, hosted by the Hong Kong Advanced Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Study of the City University of Hong Kong. Doctoral students, post-doctors, and prominent scholars and professors in the field of risk research participated in the forum from both Asian and European countries.
The Forum started with an opening speech of Prof. Werner Pascha, University of Duisburg-Essen, who had prepared the Forum in cooperation with Prof. Gregory Lee from CUHK. He explicated the basic idea of the Forum, namely to engage Asian and European scholars as well as practitioners in a dialogue on perceptions and the management of risk issues. Hopefully, both can learn from each other about the specifics of such problems, but also about common lessons. Due to the tragic events in Northeastern Japan in early 2011, which have repercussions on the perception of approach towards risk all over the world, such an exchange has become timelier than ever.
The Forum was divided into seven sessions, concentrating on two subject areas in particular, namely risk communication and the relationship on risk and trust. In terms of content, the presentations covered a wide ground, for instance dealing with risk communication issues in fields as far apart as rural India and, because of obvious topicality, in regard to the Fukushima incident. Case studies were taken, for example, from health, energy policy, but also international relations and terrorism. In the contributions concerned with risk and trust, methodical issue like applying economic experiments or using surveys for hyperbolic discount estimation were particularly important. Two final contributions to the Forum highlighted overarching concerns, namely the highly elaborate role of (risk) communication in a Chinese setting and the potential sea change on an interpretation of the "advanced" risk and trust societies in a post-Fukushima world.
From IN-EAST, Prof. Markus Taube contributed on "Trust-based Networks as a Means to Neutralize Social and Business Risks: A Game-theoretic Analysis of Guanxi-networks in a Changing Socio-economic Environment", while Sunkung Choi, doctoral fellow of GK 1613, and Prof. Werner Pascha presented their work on "The Downside of Trust: Evidence on Corruption Attitude and Behaviour in East Asia".
Support from the Hong Kong Association of Risk Management and Safety, of which some senior managers from the Mass Transit Railway of Hong Kong were present during the Forum, was gratefully acknowledged. Moreover, the Office of the European Union to Hong Kong and Macao kindly supported the event. During a dinner hosted by the EU Office, Mr. Asad Beg of the EU Commission stressed the role of the region for the EU and announced a new support scheme for the academic cooperation between the EU and Hong Kong as well as Macao.
The forum proved extremely meaningful in the sense of bringing scholars from various disciplines and backgrounds together to discuss research on "risk" in an interdisciplinary and interregional context. There was a widespread feeling in favor of organizing a second Forum next year.