The question is why it is that objective safety level and subjective feeling of safety may come apart. Answering this question requires an analysis of the nature of fear in the public sphere since feeling safe means to feel that one avoids the frightening, i.e. the threats or dangers that one perceives in the world. I argue that the fact resistance fear might display in the public sphere is due to the characteristic function that fear fulfills in this sphere. In the public sphere, fear is typically embodied by “fear narratives,” i.e. by real-life structuring stories of local groups which thereby respond to feelings of powerless fear and insecurity. By specifying what the threat is and how to deal with it in the right way, fear narratives reduce felt insecurity. Because of this and by thus enabling a feeling of superiority which may even turn the fear narrative into a narrative of enthusiastic heroism, fear in the public sphere does itself satisfy subjective preferences. This is why objective safety level and subjective feeling of safety may come apart. The question is how we could and should handle this.

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