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Resilience and the Governmentality of Unknowns

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simin Davoudi



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


In this chapter, I argue that resilience, a concept rooted in complex systems theory, is becoming an alternative rationality for governing complexity and uncertainty. However, it is a specific interpretation of resilience that is co-opted into and reinforced by policy discourses; one which is in tune with the liberal framing of freedom and responsibility and the conservative value of maintaining the status quo. The former is reflected in the promotion of self-reliance as a key measure of resilient self, and the latter is manifested in the emphasis on bouncing back to ‘normal’ orders and negating the transformative opportunities that may emerge from complexity, uncertainty and contingency.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davoudi S

Editor(s): Bevir M

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Governmentality after neoliberalism

Year: 2016

Pages: 210-249

Print publication date: 06/05/2016

Acceptance date: 02/11/2015

Series Title: Routledge Studies in Governance and Public Policy

Number of Volumes: 1

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: New York

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781138923447