Global environmental change I: A social turn for resilience?
Progress in Human Geography
Copyright © The Author(s) 2013.
Resilience is everywhere in contemporary debates about global environmental change. The application of resilience concepts to social and ecological systems and dilemmas has been roundly critiqued for under-theorizing social dimensions, and human geographers particularly have been an important critical voice in highlighting the omission of social, political and cultural dynamics from different resilience literatures. Here I examine whether and how resilience theory and applications are addressing these shortcomings and incorporating these social and political dimensions. My premise is that within the emerging field of resilience there are many voices expressing multiple and often contested interpretations and meanings. The field is rapidly evolving and new ideas are being tested and introduced. Importantly, resilience is here to stay and is being widely taken up and applied in policy and practice. I review theoretical and empirical published research across fields of geography, environmental change, natural resource management, and international development, concentrating on new work since 2010. I examine three emerging topics: community resilience; transformations; and resilience as an organizing concept for radical change. I find that there is still relatively little analysis of social difference and resilience, and there are continuing tensions between normative and analytical stances on resilience. These characteristics are mirrored in policy discourses and local level actions on resilience. © The Author(s) 2013.
Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 107 - 117