The Social Politics of Risk Workshop

The Social Politics of Risk Workshop

What do they say about conversations at a party? Never talk politics or children. In my model of risk maturity you will see that social politics is placed at the higher end of complexity.


Of course, this is not a static model but when animated it depicts people walking up and down these steps continually. It’s just in the safety industry it spends far too much time in the red steps than the amber and green steps. Perhaps this is because the red steps are easy and the other steps are too hard? It’s certainly much easier to write a system of work or set up a checklist than to understand the machinations of culture and social politics. Indeed, when I ask most people why they leave a job or a company, it is usually because of toxic social politics.

Unfortunately, most people think politics is about politicians, political parties and the business of parliaments. Whilst that is somewhat true, social politics is much more about the:

· Distribution of and will to power

· Language and discourse

· Construction of policy

· Invisible dynamics of ‘social contract’

· Nature of ideology, hegemony and propaganda

· Competing Values Framework

· Theatre of politics

· Social organizing

· Political ethics and the ethics of freedom

· Dynamics of dialectic

· Critical and cultural theory

· Political semiotics

· Nature of ‘technique’

· Violation of people as human

· Authoritarian personalities

All of these are part of the study of a Social Politics of Risk Workshop. If you are interested in learning about social politics and how to better manage politics at work, then maybe you might like to register for the workshop to be held on 27,28 March in Canberra.

You can register here:

Unfortunately, you won’t find a study of Social Politics in a qualification in safety yet understanding politics is critical in understanding how and why things go right and wrong in the way we tackle risk in organizations. If you look at presentations at safety conferences, publications in safety or courses offered in safety it is clear, politics seems a taboo word. Why is this so???

Of course, all social organizing is political. All regulation, legislation, slogans, models and policy in safety is political, there is no such thing as political neutrality just as there is no objectivity in tackling risk. Unfortunately, not knowing about the Social Politics of Risk makes one more vulnerable to risk. Political naivety can prove very harmful.

Dr Rob Long

Dr Rob Long

Expert in Social Psychology, Principal & Trainer at Human Dymensions
Dr Rob Long

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Dr Rob Long
PhD., MEd., MOH., BEd., BTh., Dip T., Dip Min., Cert IV TAA, MRMIA Rob is the founder of Human Dymensions and has extensive experience, qualifications and expertise across a range of sectors including government, education, corporate, industry and community sectors over 30 years. Rob has worked at all levels of the education and training sector including serving on various post graduate executive, post graduate supervision, post graduate course design and implementation programs.

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