Challenges for resilience policy and practice

Resilience has a long history but has emerged in the past decade to become a more widely adopted concept to underpin policies and projects, particularly in international development contexts. This working paper summarises some of the challenges and debates based on a review of recent academic literature.

The paper highlights the multiple and sometimes conflicting ways in which resilience is interpreted. This same diversity that prompts critiques is seen as a strength by others, bringing together otherwise disparate groups, institutions, disciplines and scales. The paper highlights the broad dichotomy between functional and dynamic interpretations of resilience, which lead to different operational approaches. A functional perspective tends to fit with existing institutional approaches and a projectised approach, while dynamic interpretations perhaps represent the complexities and chaos evident across the world. 


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