Resilience: A Literature Review

Resilience has, in the past four decades, been a term increasingly employed throughout a number of sciences: psychology and ecology, most prominently. Increasingly one finds it in political science, business administration, sociology, history, disaster planning, urban planning, and international development. The shared use of the term does not, however, imply unified concepts of resilience nor the theories in which it is embedded. Different uses generate different methods, sometimes different methodologies. Evidential or other empirical support can differ between domains of application, even when concepts are broadly shared.

Towards this end, the review centers on three resilience frameworks, of increasing complexity: Engineering Resilience (or “Common Sense” resilience); Systems Resilience, called Robustness in economics; and Resilience in Complex Adaptive Systems. As one might expect, with simplicity comes ease of measurement and management; with complexity comes accuracy. Nevertheless, even simple approaches can generate novel insight, and complex approaches can translate into concrete action.


About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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