For the first time ever, a pandemic led more than 4 billion people simultaneously to experience the concept of confinement, remaining locked inside for 24 hours a day. In just a few weeks, around the globe, fear internationalized as a consequence of a genuinely worldwide risk. Even after a vaccine may be found and the COVID-19 risk begins to recede, people’s perceptions of the danger they run from the virus, or other viruses, may persist for many years. By the same token, the pandemic is likely to carry in its wake heightened perception of other risks, ranging from long-term economic disruption, to leaving children behind in terms of schooling, and to psychological distress due to extended periods of time without face to face contact.
At the start of the second decade of the 21st century, what are the major risks that are likely to be seen as confronting our planet? Has the morphology of risk evolved and how? How are hierarchies of risk (and their perception) reconfiguring worldwide in the wake of COVID and how are policy makers aiming to redefine and balance them? Who are the experts and epistemological communities defining risks? Do we observe a consensus? Is there a risk of rising nationalism and protectionism in reaction to the internationalization of fear (terrorism, climate change, COVID)? In summary, what are the new frontiers of risk?