Internationales Zentrum für Ethik in den Wissenschaften (IZEW)


Building Instead of Imposing Resilience

Marco Krüger in der International Political Sociology 12(4) 2018.

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Resilience has been widely criticized for being a neoliberal security paradigm, which causes the responsibilization of individuals while justifying the withdrawal of the state. Recently, however, more and more scholars have called for an affirmative critique beyond the dichotomy of being either for or against resilience. This article formulates such a reading of resilience by turning to controlling processes, which determine the respective potential of individuals and various societal entities to be or to become resilient. Analyzing these controlling processes represents a means to a more nuanced assessment of resilience-thinking itself. In a complex world, knowledge is both local and contextual. Emphasizing the dependence of state structures on local knowledge opens an avenue to subvert the strategic selection bias of state politics, which marginalizes those societal groups who are not able to inscribe their interests into state bureaucracies. Resilience-thinking requires fostering individuals’ capabilities to (re)act by enhancing their social and economic resources for action and by building a more inclusive society through dismantling societal barriers and impairments. The article contrasts the theoretical requirements for governing resilience with a German resilience concept in civil protection to depict the lack of theoretical substantiation of current political resilience strategies.