Resilience and Justice


The term resilience has become the popular formulation for plans that deal with preparedness for disaster. It implies adaptation rather than returning to a pre-crisis state. Its use has been extended from environmental events to social and economic crises. Its fault is that it obfuscates underlying conflict and the distribution of benefits resulting from policy choices. Development of resilience policies is cloaked in complicated models showing complexity and indeterminacy. Marxist analysis provides insights that cut through the failure of these models to assign agency, but it does not offer approaches short of revolution to assist present-day planning. The conclusion of the essay presents strategies that can lead to greater justice in planning to cope with the impacts of devastating events.