Resilience has become a central concept in government policy understandings over the last decade. In our complex, global and interconnected world, resilience appears to be the policy ‘buzzword’ of choice, alleged to be the solution to a wide and ever-growing range of policy issues.
In his latest book, Resilience: The Governance of Complexity, David Chandler is concerned with precisely these questions of resilience as a governing agenda, investigating how resilience-thinking adds new insights into how politics – both domestically and internationally – is understood to work and how problems are perceived and addressed: from educational training in schools to global ethics, and from responses to shock events and natural disasters to how resilience has been discussed in the context of international policies to promote peace and development.
But can ‘resilience’ really be the policy solution to such a wide range of problems? And how does resilience-thinking reflect and influence and the way we understand the world, our relationship to it, and the possibilities of transformative change?