Security problems in the modern world of man-made threats

Problems of XXI century

The article deals with the categorial foundations for the problem of safety of the modern society and, in the first place, with the key concepts: ‘safety’, ‘danger’, ‘threat’ and ‘risk’. We have analyzed the reasons and circumstances in which the basic concepts of safety have become extremely ambiguous and have gained contradictory interpretations in Russian historiography. Particular attention is paid to the key historical stages of transformation of the notions of dangers and threats with the growing role of technological dimensions in them. Based on the study, we suggest a generalized understanding of ‘safety’, defining the conditions for using the concept. It is concluded that the world has by no means become safer, that branched and multi-level security systems are only a consequence of multiplying threats and dangers posed by the social and cultural transformations of the past century. At the same time, the identification of qualitatively new parameters of technological reality and trends of its further development in relation to the environment and mankind should lead to the formation of the research directions that would correspond to modern variants of their perception.