The contributions of resilience to reshaping sustainable development


We review the past decade’s widespread application of resilience science in sustainable development practice and examine whether and how resilience is reshaping this practice to better engage in complex contexts. We analyse six shifts in practice: from capitals to capacities, from objects to relations, from outcomes to processes, from closed to open systems, from generic interventions to context sensitivity, and from linear to complex causality.

Innovative complexity-oriented practices have emerged, but dominant applications diverge substantially from the science, including its theoretical and methodological orientations. We highlight aspects of the six shifts that are proving challenging in practice and what is required from sustainability science.


Theme affiliation: Development
Publication info: Reyers, B., Moore, M., Haider, L., Schlüter, M. 2022. The contributions of resilience to reshaping sustainable development. Nature Sustainability.

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