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Varieties of Resilience
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Book description

Resilience refers to the ability of individuals, groups and societies to withstand and recover from external shocks. This pioneering book-length comparative study examines resilience as it is experienced across different countries, such as the UK, US, France, Germany and EU. Furthermore it considers cases from policy sectors including national security, counterterrorism, civil protection, disaster risk reduction, critical infrastructure protection and overseas interventions. In doing so, Joseph provides an account of why it is that resilience has become such a popular policy topic, looking at its focus on complexity, the human and the role of resilient individuals and communities. Arguing that resilience has risen to prominence because it fits with a particularly Anglo-Saxon and neoliberal form of governance, Joseph discovers differing results across policy domains and national contexts, fomenting variations and tensions in the international discourse of resilience in policy-making.


‘Resilience is highly popular among policy-makers. Joseph tours different policy domains to understand how this ambiguous concept works in practice. His findings will surprise academics and policy-makers. Highly recommended.'

Arjen Boin - Universiteit Leiden

‘Jonathan Joseph has written a fascinating, cross national study of the interaction between systems of governance and understandings of resilience. He illuminates why the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany have adopted different policies in the areas of terrorism, disasters, and humanitarian intervention. Strongly recommended.'

Daniel P. Aldrich - Northeastern University and author of Building Resilience

‘In this crisp and well-written study, Jonathan Joseph both provides a conceptual framework for the understanding of resilience ,and a series of case studies of the usage of the term. Situating the notion of resilience as a tool of governance made comprehensible through the Foucauldian notion of governmentality, he shows how it has been used in different contexts and by different state actors. This is an essential guide to one of the most protean of contemporary buzzwords.'

Chris Brown - Emeritus Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science

‘Joseph's highly readable study of governance practices is packed with contemporary and in-depth empirical and conceptual insights. Highlighting the proliferation of resilience-thinking across key policy areas, the analytical focus is the importance of social, political and international context for understanding variations in governance strategies, practices and discourses. This book will be a must read reference for those concerned with the changing nature of contemporary governance regimes.'

David Chandler - University of Westminster

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