• Jonathan JosephEmail author
  • J. Allister McGregor
Part of the Building a Sustainable Political Economy: SPERI Research & Policy book series (SPERIRP)


Resilience has found influence in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the ongoing global environmental crisis. This chapter briefly looks at a range of policy areas such as disaster risk reduction, humanitarian crisis and development strategy. It examines the appeal of resilience as a way of emphasising our capacity to evolve and adapt. The human element of resilience emphasises such things as reflexivity, awareness, innovative and enterprising behaviour and flexibility. After considering the ways that resilience gets is to think about risks and shocks, the chapter asks whether this is stronger in Anglo-Saxon culture and favours a more individualist, even neoliberal, way of thinking. Resilience, understood in these terms, supports a type of governance that operates ‘from a distance’ through facilitative measures to encourage certain forms of conduct and organising. This is also related to a post-crisis rationality that is coming to terms with economic uncertainty as well as the need for austerity and for scaling-back forms of (public) intervention.


Resilience Governance Governmentality Crisis Neoliberalism Disasters 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sociology, Politics and International StudiesUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.Department of Politics and International RelationsUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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