Food Security

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 469–476 | Cite as

Linking rural livelihood resilience and food security: an international challenge

  • Bernard Pelletier
  • Gordon M. Hickey
  • Kimberly L. Bothi
  • Andrew Mude
Original Paper


In many parts of the world, rural livelihoods are characterized by a high degree of vulnerability to climate change, market volatility, and political unrest. Increasingly, the concept of resilience is being used to inform development initiatives aimed at building the capacity of rural households and communities to cope, adapt, and transform in the face of diverse shocks and stressors. There remain, however, significant challenges to mainstreaming resilience thinking into food and nutrition security policy and programming, primarily because the concept is best understood as being embedded within dynamic and highly contextual processes that can be interpreted differently by various parties. This Special Section of Food Security presents international case studies exploring the vulnerability of rural livelihoods and the initiatives proposed to build resilience, providing valuable insights into the practical challenges to assessing resilience in different contexts. Through different applications of the resilience concept, these case studies highlight the key roles played by broader social, institutional, and governance contexts in affecting food and nutrition security. The need to better supplement the development of reliable metrics for assessing resilience with richer and more context-specific narratives is also highlighted.


Agricultural innovation systems Governance Participation Social-ecological systems Social transformation Vulnerability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Pelletier
    • 1
  • Gordon M. Hickey
    • 1
  • Kimberly L. Bothi
    • 2
  • Andrew Mude
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resource SciencesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Global Studies and College of EngineeringUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  3. 3.International Livestock Research InstituteNairobiKenya

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