'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.