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Eleanor Sterling, Tamara Ticktin, Tē Kipa Kepa Morgan, Georgina Cullman, Diana Alvira, Pelika Andrade, Nadia Bergamini, Erin Betley, Kate Burrows, Sophie Caillon, Joachim Claudet, Rachel Dacks, Pablo Eyzaguirre, Chris Filardi, Nadav Gazit, Christian Giardina, Stacy Jupiter, Kealohanuiopuna Kinney, Joe McCarter, Manuel Mejia, Kanoe Morishige, Jennifer Newell, Lihla Noori, John Parks, Pua‘ala Pascua, Ashwin Ravikumar, Jamie Tanguay, Amanda Sigouin, Tina Stege, Mark Stege and Alaka Wali

Measuring progress toward sustainability goals is a multifaceted task. International, regional, and national organizations and agencies seek to promote resilience and capacity for adaptation at local levels. However, their measurement systems may be poorly aligned with local contexts, cultures, and needs. Understanding how to build effective, culturally grounded measurement systems is a fundamental step toward supporting adaptive management and resilience in the face of environmental, social, and economic change. To identify patterns and inform future efforts, we review seven case studies and one framework regarding the development of culturally grounded indicator sets. Additionally, we explore ways to bridge locally relevant indicators and those of use at national and international levels. The process of identifying and setting criteria for appropriate indicators of resilience in social-ecological systems needs further documentation, discussion, and refinement, particularly regarding capturing feedbacks between biological and social-cultural elements of systems.

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John P. Ziker

This paper discusses flexibility in subsistence and exchange strategies and family and community structures in an indigenous community on the lower Enisei River in north-central Siberia. An analysis of available data on mobility, resource use, and social and economic exchanges contributes to understanding the factors that affect resilience of indigenous domestic groups and communities in the region. The historic flexibility of economic strategies and related social structure is described on the basis of data from the 1926/27 Polar Census. Data from the author's 1997 visit to the area (the Tukhard community) illustrates very similar strategies and variation in deployment of these strategies. New patterns of organization are discussed in relation to the issues of community resilience and indigenous rights.

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Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation

Perspectives from a Century of Water Resources Development

Clive Agnew and Philip Woodhouse

The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the influential Stern Report both reinforce the warming of the earth's climate system. The alarming environmental, social, and economic consequences of this trend call for immediate action from individuals, institutions, and governments. This article identifies parallels between the problem of adaptive management presented by climate change and an earlier 'global water crisis'. It explores how adaptive strategies have successively emphasized three different principles, based on science, economics, and politics/institutions. The article contends that the close association between climate change and water resources development enables a comparative analysis to be made between the strategies that have been adopted for the latter over the last 100 years. It argues that the experience of water resources development suggests a strong interdependence between the three principles and concludes that conceptualizing them as different dimensions of a single governance framework is necessary to meet the challenge of climate change adaptation.

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Glen David Kuecker and Thomas D. Hall

In this essay we explore how humans might face systemic collapse and/or entry into a dark age through forms of community resilience. We also note that nature, types of communities, and degrees of resilience differ in core, peripheral, and semiperipheral areas of the contemporary world-system. Core or global north or first world communities have all but disintegrated due to neoliberal policies. However, communities in peripheral and semiperipheral areas are more emergent, and more resilient. These areas are most likely to have or to creatively develop strategies to overcome global collapse. We further argue that social scientists need to develop new definitions of community that go beyond contemporary conceptualizations.

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Kyle Whyte

Settler colonialism is a form of domination that violently disrupts human relationships with the environment. Settler colonialism is ecological domination, committing environmental injustice against Indigenous peoples and other groups. Focusing on the context of Indigenous peoples’ facing US domination, this article investigates philosophically one dimension of how settler colonialism commits environmental injustice. When examined ecologically, settler colonialism works strategically to undermine Indigenous peoples’ social resilience as self determining collectives. To understand the relationships connecting settler colonialism, environmental injustice, and violence, the article first engages Anishinaabe intellectual traditions to describe an Indigenous conception of social resilience called collective continuance. One way in which settler colonial violence commits environmental injustice is through strategically undermining Indigenous collective continuance. At least two kinds of environmental injustices demonstrate such violence: vicious sedimentation and insidious loops. The article seeks to contribute to knowledge of how anti-Indigenous settler colonialism and environmental injustice are connected.

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Uncertain Mobilities

A View from the Past

Colin G. Pooley

Contemporary society assumes high levels of unimpeded mobility, and disruptions to the ability to move quickly and easily can cause considerable concern. This paper examines the notion of mobility uncertainty and disruption from an historical perspective, arguing that interruptions to mobility have long been a characteristic of everyday travel. It is suggested that what has changed is not so much the extent or nature of disruption, but rather the resilience of transport systems and societal norms and expectations about travel. Data are taken from five examples of life writing produced by residents of the United Kingdom during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The texts are used to illustrate the travel problems encountered and the strategies adopted to deal with them. A concluding discussion examines these themes in the context of twenty-first century mobility.

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Virginia García Acosta

*Full forum is in Spanish

English abstract:

This article explores the social cohesion-disaster risk reduction binomial. This is the continuation of previous publications, published both in Regions & Cohesion and in other places, aimed at examining available concepts that may be useful for the study of disasters and risk, their reduction and their prevention. The article reviews various definitions of social cohesion and disaster risk reduction to later explore the link between them by introducing associated notions such as solidarity and resilience. These are refl ections that have nurtured the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) working group called “Social Construction of Risks and Disasters” and that, we hope, continue to nourish it.

Spanish abstract:

Este artículo explora el binomio cohesión social-reducción de riesgos de desastre. Se trata de la continuación de ejercicios anteriores, publicados tanto en Regions & Cohesion como en otros espacios, dirigidos a examinar conceptos disponibles que puedan resultar útiles para el estudio de los desastres, del riesgo, de su reducción y prevención. El artículo revisa diversas defi niciones de cohesión social y de reducción de riesgos de desastre para, posteriormente, explorar el vínculo entre ellas a partir de incorporar a la discusión nociones asociadas como solidaridad y resiliencia. Se trata de refl exiones que han nutrido al grupo de trabajo del Consorcio en Investigación Comparativa en Integración Regional y Cohesión Social (RISC, por sus siglas en inglés) denominado “Construcción social de riesgos y desastres” y que, esperamos, lo sigan nutriendo.

French abstract:

Cet article explore le binôme cohésion sociale-réduction des risques de désastre. Il s’inscrit dans la continuité de publications antérieures parues dans Régions & Cohésion et dans d’autres espaces dans le but d’examiner les concepts disponibles qui pourraient être utiles pour l’étude des désastres et des risques, de leur réduction et de leur prévention. L’article révise plusieurs défi nitions de la cohésion sociale et de la réduction des risques de désastres pour explorer ensuite le lien entre elles à travers l’introduction de notions associées comme la solidarité et la résilience. Il s’agit de réfl exions qui ont alimenté le groupe de travail du Consortium pour la recherche comparative sur l’Intégration régionale et la cohésion sociale nommé «Construction sociale des risques et des désastres » et qui, nous l’espérons, continueront à le nourrir.

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Courtney Cook

Nazera Sadiq Wright. 2016. Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century. Urbana, University of Illinois Press.

Black girls have a history of resilience. Nazera Sadiq Wright, in Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century (2016), analyzes accounts of the experiences of black girls from what she refers to as “youthful” girlhood to the conscious or “prematurely knowing” (44) age of 18. Setting out to recover overlooked accounts of black girlhood during the nineteenth century, a tumultuous epoch of transition for the black community, Wright uses contemporaneous literary and visual texts such as black newspapers, novels, poetry, and journals to reconstruct this lost narrative. By engaging in a close reading of these texts, in which black people, emerging from slavery, communicated with each other about personal and community goals, Wright examines the ways in which the instruction of black girls operated in between the lines of literature to convey codes of conduct to the black community. She argues that with the emergence of literature written by and for black women, the role of the black girl morphed from docile homemaker to resilient heroine for herself and her people. In discussing this more complex role, Wright does not deny that black girls were vulnerable to multiple forms of violence and hurt, but does point to a more nuanced experience. Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century is an intervention into the African American literary canon, filling in many of the gaps in the lost history of black girlhood, making it an essential text for those “who care” (22) about black girls as they engage in the process of rewriting and redeeming the narratives of an often-forgotten population.

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Victoria C. Ramenzoni and David Yoskowitz

After Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, governmental organizations have placed the development of metrics to quantify social impacts, resilience, and community adaptation at the center of their agendas. Following the premise that social indicators provide valuable information to help decision makers address complex interactions between people and the environment, several interagency groups in the United States have undertaken the task of embedding social metrics into policy and management. While this task has illuminated important opportunities for consolidating social and behavioral disciplines at the core of the federal government, there are still significant risks and challenges as quantification approaches move forward. In this article, we discuss the major rationale underpinning these efforts, as well as the limitations and conflicts encountered in transitioning research to policy and application. We draw from a comprehensive literature review to explore major initiatives in institutional scenarios addressing community well-being, vulnerability, and resilience in coastal and ocean resource management agencies.

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Diana Glazebrook

Restrictive conditions of temporary protection have required refugees to be resourceful and tactful in managing their own ‘resettlement’ in Australia. Ethnographic research among Hazara refugees from Central Afghanistan living on temporary protection visas, reveals the mobile phone to be fundamental to restoring their lives after detention. Hazara have made use of their mobile phones to establish a point of contact, get their bearings, and reposition themselves at the locus of their own new social networks. This article explores the affect of mobile phone use in a situation of temporary protection, in terms of a rubric of resilience.