Headline: Anxious Times: New Book by IASS Director Ortwin Renn

How powerful is fear and what effect does it have on our society? These questions are at the heart of a recently published book by the environmental and technical sociologist Ortwin Renn. In “Zeit der Verunsicherung” (Anxious Times), the Scientific Director at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) probes the causes and effects, as well as the perception and handling of fears in our society.

Ortwin Renn
In his latest book, risk expert Ortwin Renn examines what drives people to populism. berlin-event-foto.de

Populist movements are on the rise across the globe. At the same time, a deep mistrust of politics, business and science can be observed: Is politics still capable of solving problems? How fair is the business world? And how independent are scientists? “The confidence of many people in the validity of long-standing norms and values has been thoroughly shaken. In the age of ‘fake news’ they are no longer sure what information they can trust,” explains Ortwin Renn. “This book is intended to help those people orient themselves in uncertain times and regain confidence in their own powers of judgement.”

Renn dissects the fears in our society from a scientific perspective and shows the spectrum of reactions to them: from rage and anxiety to feigned apathy. What do people feel threatened by? Where do their fears originate and how can they be dealt with? And what does it mean for society when fear becomes too powerful?

Ortwin Renn, Zeit der Verunsicherung

Ortwin Renn: Zeit der Verunsicherung – Was treibt Menschen in den Populismus? (Anxious Times – What Drives People to Populism?)

e-book, 240 pages

Published in November 2017 by Rowohlt

Price: €3.99 (D)

ISBN: 978-3-644-40165-5