Posts Tagged ‘world’

Rome, 24-26 September 2008

Fearless: discussion on how to combat global anguish”

The first edition of World Social Summit will focus on global fears. This choice was made by taking into due consideration the central position that fear occupies within contemporary societies, not only due to the increase of risks that threaten society (terrorism, crime, environment), but chiefly, the expansion of uncertainty that now distinguishes people’s lives, makes fear, real or imagined, an emotion that an increasing segments of the world’s population are forced to come to terms with.

There will be an in depth analysis on the relationship between globalisation and anguish (social, multicultural, and economic), so to try to understand if fear is in many ways inevitable (fear being almost a “genetic” trait of developed societies), and how much the growth of global flows is also feeding new anxieties in emerging countries. Central to this outlook will be the analysis on how the relationship with “others” can breed fear.

There will be also an analysis on the social and communication mechanisms that today preside over the construction of fear. Many of the anxieties that proliferate in society, as a matter of fact, do not correspond to objective threats or risks posed, but are a by-product of a state of widespread insecurity, an existential mark of our time. It will be therefore the summit’s goal to understand who feeds this state of anxiety, who has an interest (economical, political, media wise) in upholding it, and in which ways does the language and communication methods used become social amplifiers of fear.

A special session will be dedicated to metropolitan insecurity. Big cities are where modern fears are concentrated (crime, social insecurity, poverty, terrorism, various type of risks and environmental hazards). Through a research realised by WSS on ten big cities around the world, we will analyse the current conditions of urban life and study the solutions that have been implemented to reduce insecurity. We will endeavour to shed light on the future path of fear, starting from the reconstruction of cultural evolution of fear, to then analyse its possible future projection, and the role of science and technology in generating or contrasting anxieties. At last, the central theme of WSS 2008 will seek to identify the instruments and the models that modern societies use to face up to anxieties, try to engage them, thus creating a more secure and fearless enviroment.