Resilience: New Utopia or New Tyranny? Reflection about the Potentials and Limits of the Concept of Resilience in Relation to Vulnerability Reduction Programmes

Published on 1 September 2012

Resilience is becoming influential in development and vulnerability reduction sectors such as social protection, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Policy makers, donors and international development agencies are now increasingly referring to the term. In that context, the objective of this paper was to assess in a critical manner the advantages and limits of resilience.

While the review highlights some positive elements –in particular the ability of the term to foster integrated approach across sectors– it also shows that resilience has important limitations. In particular it is not a pro-poor concept, and the objective of poverty reduction cannot simply be substituted by resilience building.

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