Ideas come and go and then come again. Old ideas may resurge in different connotations or new webs of meaning, as they are transplanted from one field of knowledge to the other. They may also self-structure to a more updated version of themselves, as dynamic as the world in which they emerge. Perhaps, a better description could be “old wine in new bottles.” Concepts in political thought have travelled wide and far by engaging in both processes, and the same can be observed in the current upsurge of resilience-thinking.
The concept of “resilience” first emerged in the realm of natural sciences and transitioned from ecology to economy, until the social sciences’ positivist agenda brought it home in the 1970s. The context was set to welcome it: the disillusionment with liberal-thinking, the perceived failure of the social state, and the weak capacities of the international institutional system in responding to the looming “world crises.” At the end of the twentieth century,...
KeywordsComplex emergencies Security Social change
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