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Resilience and development: mobilizing for transformation

Francois Bousquet, CIRAD, UPR GREEN, F-34398 Montpellier, France
Aurélie Botta, CIRAD, UPR GREEN, F-34398 Montpellier, France
Luca Alinovi, Global Resilience Partnership, Nairobi, Kenya
Olivier Barreteau, IRSTEA, UMR G-EAU, France
Deborah Bossio, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Nairobi, Kenya
Katrina Brown, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, UK
Patrick Caron, CIRAD, DGDRS, F-34398 Montpellier, France
Philippe Cury, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Bruxelles, Belgium
Marco d'Errico, FAO, Rome, Italy
Fabrice DeClerck, Bioversity International, Montpellier, France
Hélène Dessard, CIRAD, Forêts et Sociétés, F-34398 Montpellier, France
Elin Enfors Kautsky, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Christo Fabricius, Sustainability Research Unit, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Carl Folke, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Beijer Institute, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden
Louise Fortmann, UC Berkeley, USA
Bernard Hubert, INRA, France
Danièle Magda, INRA-SAD UMR AGIR 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
Raphael Mathevet, Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, UMR 5175, CNRS-Université de Montpellier-Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier-EPHE, Montpellier, France
Richard B. Norgaard, University of California at Berkeley, USA
Allyson Quinlan, Resilience Alliance
Charles Staver, Bioversity International, Montpellier, France


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In 2014, the Third International Conference on the resilience of social-ecological systems chose the theme “resilience and development: mobilizing for transformation.” The conference aimed specifically at fostering an encounter between the experiences and thinking focused on the issue of resilience through a social and ecological system perspective, and the experiences focused on the issue of resilience through a development perspective. In this perspectives piece, we reflect on the outcomes of the meeting and document the differences and similarities between the two perspectives as discussed during the conference, and identify bridging questions designed to guide future interactions. After the conference, we read the documents (abstracts, PowerPoints) that were prepared and left in the conference database by the participants (about 600 contributions), and searched the web for associated items, such as videos, blogs, and tweets from the conference participants. All of these documents were assessed through one lens: what do they say about resilience and development? Once the perspectives were established, we examined different themes that were significantly addressed during the conference. Our analysis paves the way for new collective developments on a set of issues: (1) Who declares/assign/cares for the resilience of what, of whom? (2) What are the models of transformations and how do they combine the respective role of agency and structure? (3) What are the combinations of measurement and assessment processes? (4) At what scale should resilience be studied?
Social transformations and scientific approaches are coconstructed. For the last decades, development has been conceived as a modernization process supported by scientific rationality and technical expertise. The definition of a new perspective on development goes with a negotiation on a new scientific approach. Resilience is presently at the center of this negotiation on a new science for development.

Key words

development; perspective; resilience; social-ecological systems; transdisciplinarity

Copyright © 2016 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