Insurance as Governance
Published: July 2003© 2003
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 384 Pages
Dimensions: 6.03 x 8.98
384 Pages, 6.03 x 8.98 x 1.21 in
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Insurance as Governance is the first major sociological study of the insurance industry. It examines how the industry controls our institutions and daily lives in ways that are largely invisible, and how it thereby functions as a form of government beyond the state.
Drawing on extensive ethnographic research on industry practices, the work penetrates the complexities of the insurance industry and demonstrates why it is such a powerful and pervasive institution. The authors advance the concept of moral risk as they consider how insurance companies partner with governments and corporations in the negotiation of economic policy.
In effect, Insurance as Governance documents liberal theory at work. It offers a major case study of liberal governance beyond the state and explores such larger issues as how insurance is increasingly liberal rather than welfarist in orientation, and how insurance is the vanguard of liberalization in governance throughout postindustrial societies. Wide-ranging in scope and original in approach, the text provides a sophisticated integration of empirical data and theoretical approaches relating to insurance, risk, governance, and security.
'This book is one of the most original and far-reaching works of sociological research that I have ever read. Ericson, Doyle, and Barry present enough new findings to fill a small subfield, and produce our most compelling analysis to date of how the tactics and strategies of insurers help govern our "risk society." Insurance as Governance is sure to be considered a classic of socio-legal scholarship and should help put the study of insurance on the agenda of every student of contemporary society.'Jonathan Simon, School of Law, University of Miami
'No serious scholar writing empirically about insurance or government beyond the state will be able to ignore this book ... Indeed, it is the most important recent book in the field.'Tom Baker, School of Law, University of Connecticut