Fear is one of the strongest social emotions characterizing today’s Western societies. The first part, published in the previous instalment, proposed some different models of interpretation of fear. The second part of the article explores some lines of interpretation which deny the possibility for collective fears to be rationalized and affirm the self-destroying character of Western societies based on fear. The investigation ends by presenting 10 theses supporting the idea that fear in today’s Western societies is mainly the result of some processes of social imagination, that have altered the relationship existing between risk and confidence in modern Western societies. Therefore, fear may be contrasted by adopting political measures and cultural actions that are aimed at strengthening confidence as a social feeling of fundamental importance.

(Author: Paolo Boschini)

Summary ed.29 (I/2011)