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Regular version of the site

Article

Can resilience be redeemed? Resilience as a metaphor for change, not against change

City. 2016. Vol. 20. No. 1. P. 143-151.
Deverteuil G., Golubchikov O.

Resilience has been critiqued as being regressively status quo and thus propping up neo-liberalism, that it lacks transformative potential, and that it can be used as a pretence to cast off needy people and places. We move from this critique of resilience to a critical resilience, based in the following arguments: (i) resilience can sustain alternative and previous practices that contradict neo-liberalism; (ii) resilience is more active and dynamic than passive; and (iii) resilience can sustain survival, thus acting as a precursor to more obviously transformative action such as resistance. These bring us more closely to a heterogeneous de-neo-liberalized reading of resilience, explicitly opening it to social justice, power relations and uneven development, and performing valuable conceptual and pragmatic work that usefully moves us beyond resistance yet retaining (long-term) struggle.