During the late nineteenth century, many countries across Europe adopted national legislation that required employers to compensate workers injured or killed in accidents at work. These laws suggested that the risk of accidents was inherent to work and not due to individual negligence. By focusing on Britain, Germany, and Italy during this time, Julia Moses demonstrates how these laws reflected a major transformation in thinking about the nature of individual responsibility and social risk. The First Modern Risk illuminates the implications of this conceptual revolution for the role of the state in managing problems of everyday life, transforming understandings about both the obligations and rights of individuals. Drawing on a wide array of disciplines including law, history, and politics, Moses offers a fascinating transnational view of a pivotal moment in the evolution of the welfare state.
–Peter Baldwin, University of California, Los Angeles
–Margaret Somers, University of Michigan
About the Author:
Julia Moses is a senior lecturer in Modern History at the University of Sheffield. She studied at Barnard College/Columbia University (New York), Oxford, and Cambridge (as a Gates Scholar). Before joining the Department of History at Sheffield in September 2011, she was a lecturer at Pembroke and Brasenose Colleges, Oxford. She has been a visiting scholar at the Berlin Collegium for the Comparative History of Europe at the Free University; a professeur invitée at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris; an International Guest Lecturer at the University of Bielefeld; a Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin; and a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Göttingen.