eCite Digital Repository

The language of resilience: ideas and action in contemporary policy-making


Jacobs, K and Malpas, J, The language of resilience: ideas and action in contemporary policy-making, Housing, Theory and Society, 35, (4) pp. 394-409. ISSN 1403-6096 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2017 IBF, The Institute for Housing and Urban Research

DOI: doi:10.1080/14036096.2017.1308435


It is difficult not to have noticed that in the last decade or so the notion of resilience has been adopted by many practitioners in Anglophone nations as part of a strategy for political engagement. Very often, those who advocate a resilience agenda concede that the insidious effects of globalized forms of capitalism cannot effectively be resisted and therefore it is necessary to accommodate to this reality by adapting and becoming resilient to any shocks that might arise. The aims of this paper are to explore not only some of the reasons why resilience has such appeal, but also to make some critical observations about policy responses at a time of increasing uncertainty. Amongst the questions addressed are: what might the use of resilience by policy-makers reveal about the conduct of government? Can its popularity within government agencies provide some insights as to why tangible reform remains elusive? Is there a form of resilience strategy that could serve to counter the pernicious effects of austerity and neoliberal policy responses? Amongst the arguments proposed is that, at best, resilience has only limited utility and at worst serves as a distraction to developing more incisive and lasting forms of political engagement.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Resilience, Policy, Housing, Governance
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Policy and administration not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Jacobs, K (Professor Keith Jacobs)
UTAS Author:Malpas, J (Professor Jeff Malpas)
ID Code:115802
Year Published:2018 (online first 2017)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-04-11
Last Modified:2022-07-01

Repository Staff Only: item control page