Resilience, Development and Global Change

By Katrina Brown

© 2016 – Routledge

216 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415663472
pub: 2015-12-14
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Hardback: 9780415663465
pub: 2015-12-14
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Resilience is currently infusing policy debates and public discourses, widely promoted as a normative goal in fields as diverse as the economy, national security, personal development and well-being. Resilience thinking provides a framework for understanding dynamics of complex, inter-connected social, ecological and economic systems. The book critically analyzes the multiple meanings and applications of resilience ideas in contemporary society and to suggests where, how and why resilience might cause us to re-think global change and development, and how this new approach might be operationalized.

The book shows how current policy discourses on resilience promote business-as-usual rather than radical responses to change. But it argues that resilience can help understand and respond to the challenges of the contemporary age. These challenges are characterized by high uncertainty; globalized and interconnected systems; increasing disparities and limited choices. Resilience thinking can overturn orthodox approaches to international development dominated by modernization, aid dependency and a focus on economic growth and to global environmental change – characterized by technocratic approaches, market environmentalism and commoditization of ecosystem services.

Resilience, Development and Global Change presents a sophisticated, theoretically informed synthesis of resilience thinking across disciplines. It applies resilience ideas specifically to international development and relates resilience to core theories in development and shows how a radical, resilience-based approach to development might transform responses to climate change, to the dilemmas of managing forests and ecosystems, and to rural and urban poverty in the developing world. The book provides fresh perspectives for scholars of international development, environmental studies and geography and add new dimensions for those studying broader fields of ecology and society.


This book provides an examination of the rise of resilience as a cross-disciplinary concept and framework within global development. The political ecology approach taken through the book provides a critical examination that links with contemporary debates in policy and practice around poverty and climate change. Populated with illuminating case studies, this is essential reading for anyone interested in truly sustainable development goals.

Dr Thomas Tanner, Head of Adaptation and Resilience, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK

It was rewarding to read a book that discusses and illustrates resilience from so many perspectives. Researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners concerned with global change will appreciate Kate Brown's re-visioning of resilience as an opportunity to collectively negotiate and influence current and future sustainabilities.

Professor Karen O'Brien, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo

Table of Contents

1. Resilience Now 2. Development Policy Engagement with Resilience 3. Resilience Across Disciplines 4. Exploring Experiential Resilience 5. Adaptation in a Changing Climate 6. Traps and Transformations: The Resilience of Poverty 7. Re-visioning Resilience: Resistance, Rootedness and Resourcefulness

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries