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Towards critical resilience: political and social dimensions of work in community projects

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ewan MackenzieORCiD



This is the final published version of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Universite Paris Est-Creteil, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Resilience is essential to reconfiguring livelihoods in a destabilising biosphere, but without due consideration of social inequalities, discourses of resilience can perpetuate neoliberal agendas. This article highlights the potential to rewrite prevailing governmental configurations of resilience, those designed to encourage voluntary and community responses to structural problems. We analyse the political and social dimensions of work (both paid and non-paid) in Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) community projects in Scotland. Against a background of economic austerity and inequality we explore the life trajectories and narratives of participants, highlighting discourses associated with their engagement and participation. The paper illustrates that contexts of austerity and inequality lead to composite forms of engagement that range from career enhancement and increased work flexibility to compassionate action, the enactment of subsistence activities and collective empowerment. However, how work - voluntary vs paid, full-time vs part-time – was distributed within the projects re-enacted existing inequalities. Within this context we explore how work in community projects can prefigure work in critically resilient economies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Meyerricks S, Mackenzie E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Justice Spatiale/Spatial Justice

Year: 2022

Volume: 17

Pages: 1-24

Online publication date: 01/06/2022

Acceptance date: 18/06/2021

Date deposited: 23/06/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2105-0392

Publisher: Universite Paris Est-Creteil