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Community resilience, social capital and territorial governance

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE


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Community resilience constitutes a conceptual framework for understanding the risksand changes that rural regions face. Nevertheless different paradigms and disciplines have influenced itsdevelopment in particular directions. Along the way, what was initially formulated in the natural sciences hascome to be embraced enthusiastically by the social sciences and harnessed to already contested concepts, suchas community and social capital, as a way of explicating what should be resilient, the conditions and resourcesthought to foster resilience, and the ways in which resilience can be measured. But this has not occurredunproblematically and there are reasons to be cautious about the uncritical application of resilience thinkingto social systems and contexts. Further, while the focus of this paper lies in the concept of ruralcommunity resilience, it is important to be mindful that there is nothing uniquely rural about the term sinceit has also been adopted in the urban context, arguably with even more fervour. It is worth asking, then, what,if anything, is distinct about the theory, policy and practice of rural community resilience and in what waysdo rural studies scholars make a contribution to resilience debates that go beyond the immediate setting ofrural spaces.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cheshire L, Esparcia J, Shucksmith M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ager: revista de estudios sobre despoblacion y desarrollo rural

Year: 2015

Volume: 18

Pages: 7-38

Print publication date: 17/08/2015

Online publication date: 15/05/2015

Acceptance date: 01/05/2015

ISSN (print): 1578-7168

Publisher: Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza


DOI: 10.4422/ager.2915.08


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