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An Age of Risk – Politics and Economy in Early Modern Britain - Princeton Scholarship Online
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An Age of Risk: Politics and Economy in Early Modern Britain

Emily C. Nacol


This book shows that risk, now treated as a permanent feature of our lives, did not always govern understandings of the future. Focusing on the epistemological, political, and economic writings of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, and Adam Smith, the book explains that in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain, political and economic thinkers reimagined the future as a terrain of risk, characterized by probabilistic calculation, prediction, and control. In these early modern sources, the book contends, we see three crucial developments in thought on risk and politics. While early mod ... More

Keywords: risk, probabilistic calculation, risk prediction, risk control, future uncertainty, risk-taking, security threat

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780691165103
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691165103.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Emily C. Nacol, author
Vanderbilt University