CONTEMPLATING POLITICAL PHENOMENA: THEORY AND PRACTICE
TOWARDS A CONCEPTUALISATION OF RESILIENCE IN SECURITY STUDIES
Resilience has become a catchword in academic and professional discourse due to, implicit or explicit, acceptance of traditional approaches to prevention and preparation. Derived from the Latin verb “resilire” – to jump back, currently mainly signifies the ability or capacity of a system to bounce back to the equilibrium, pre-disturbance state, but also the ability of the system to face with and adapt to change. The use of the term has a long tradition in different scientific disciplines – psychology, sociology, ecology, engineering, management, whereas it entered the scope of security studies at the beginning of 21st century. In the last two decades the growing use of the concept and the various conceptualizations have been observed in both academic papers and in strategic and legislative documents. There is a vast literature in the subfields of security studies such as national security, emergency and disaster management, human and corporate security that problematizes this concept. In security studies there are broadly two strands of thought – one that observes resilience as a desired state of the system, be it a nation, a community or infrastructure, and another one that proposes resilience as a risk management strategy that can be used when dealing with events characterized with a high degree of uncertainty.
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