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Reliability and RiskThe Challenge of Managing Interconnected Infrastructures$
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Paul Schulman and Emery Roe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804793933

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804793933.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

The Infrastructure Society

The Infrastructure Society

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Infrastructure Society
Reliability and Risk

Emery Roe

Paul R. Schulman

Stanford University Press

This chapter introduces the book’s argument about the central role critical infrastructures for providing clean water, communications, transportation, electricity, flood protection, financial services, and major emergency response, among other contemporary essentials, have in society and for individual well-being. The capabilities of humans to manage these complex and increasingly connected infrastructure systems are being stretched to their limits. Yet society insists these systems must have permanent continued and predictable operation at high levels of dependability and safety. This chapter reviews the literature on the pivotal role of infrastructures in present-day societies, discusses the major properties of these infrastructures, looks at the overarching priority that they be managed safely and continuously, and considers the risks from infrastructures being more and more interconnected and seemingly more and more vulnerable to large cross-system failure.

Keywords:   Critical infrastructures, interconnectivity, risk assessment and management, high-reliability management, large-system failure

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