Building liberal resilience? A critical review from developing rural Asia

Jonathan Rigg*, Katie Oven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


'Resilience' is the catchword of the moment. For many of the mainstream institutions of international development, building resilience is embedded in a wider commitment to market liberalism. Taking three entry points, the sectoral, spatial and socio-governmental, this paper critically explores the connections, interdependencies and tensions between social resilience and the market imperative. The paper argues that 'liberal resilience' plays into a growth-development-resilience 'trap' wherein economic growth has become a de facto synonym for development and, often, development a synonym for resilience. Drawing on empirical cases from across rural Asia we highlight the incongruities and inconsistencies in this line of logic. The paper suggests that there is a need to critically judge the market mechanism and the complex and sometimes contradictory ways in which the processes that have been set in train by market integration impinge on resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Early online date23 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


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