New article by Tom Scott-Smith reviews World Disasters Report 2016 on Resilience

14 February, 2018

In a new article in Development and Change, Tom Scott-Smith reviews the ‘World Disasters Report 2016 – Resilience: saving lives today, investing for tomorrow’ and considers the ‘resilience paradox’.

In this paradox, resilience is simultaneously accused of being politicizing and depoliticizing. Scott-Smith writes, 'The scholarly critique suggests that resilience depoliticizes everything it touches, producing acquiescent subjects who are discouraged from protest. The practitioner critique, on the other hand, suggests that resilience politicizes relief by focusing mistakenly on systems, structures and states… the essence of the scholarly argument is that resilience shifts attention from the state to the individual and encourages us to embrace precarity. The essence of the practitioner argument, however, is that resilience shifts attention from the individual to the state'.

So who is right? 'Both sides are wrong', he argues, 'but in different ways'.

Tom Scott-Smith (2018) ‘Paradoxes of Resilience: A Review of the World Disasters Report 2016’, Development and Change, DOI: 10.1111/dech.12384