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Perspectives on Resilience to Disasters across Sectors and Cultures

Brian Walker, CSIRO Ecosystem Science, Australia
Frances Westley, Institute for Complexity and Innovation


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We present some insights on the use and interpretation of resilience ideas that arose in a conference on “Society’s Resilience in Withstanding Disaster.” Three points in particular have relevance for those interested in resilience in social-ecological systems: (1) Time as a threshold vs. avoiding quick fixes; (2) Trading risks: specified vs. general resilience; (3) Response origination: building local general resilience, and general resilience in central agencies. In the latter the need is to allow improvisation, and failure, during times of crisis.

Key words

disasters; resilience; risk

Copyright © 2011 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087