Properties and Projects: Reframing Socio-ecological Resilience

Authors: Edward Carr*, Clark University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Development, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Resilience, socio-ecological systems, adaptation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Washington 6, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Resilience has surged to the forefront of conversations in development and adaptation, emerging from a desire to better understand and address the root causes of both acute and chronic development/adaptation challenges. Borrowing from research on biophysical systems, the development and adaptation communities frame resilience as a source of persistence (of lives and livelihoods) in the face of shocks and stressors, implicitly privileging stability over transformation and spontaneity over intentionality. In this paper, I argue that resilience in social and socio- ecological systems is the product of projects that direct people and manage properties toward particular ends – in short, that these projects reshape the properties of systems. By reframing resilience as a project of (re)ordering the ongoing emergence of properties within particular socio-ecological systems, it is possible to better understand observed dynamics in socio-ecological systems.

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