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Resilience as Embedded Neoliberalism: A Governmentality Approach

This article looks at resilience as a form of governmentality. In particular, it is concerned to show that resilience, despite its claims to be about the operation of systems, is, in practice, closer to a form of governance that emphasises individual responsibility. It traces this line of argument through looking at a range of documents and policy statements. The Anglo-Saxon understanding of resilience, in particular, is best understood as a neoliberal form of governmentality that places emphasis on individual adaptability. It fits with neoliberalism’s normative way of mobilising social agents. This account is defended against a more philosophical claim that resilience is part of a post-liberal shift.