Political practices, agencies and institutions around the world promote the need for humans, individually and collectively, to develop capacities of resilience. We must accept and adapt to the `realities' of an endemic condition of global insecurity and to the practice of so-called sustainable development. But in spite of claims that resilience make us more adept and capable, does the discourse of resilience undermine our ability to make our own decisions as to how we wish to live?
This book draws out the theoretical assumptions behind the drive for resilience and its implications for issues of political subjectivity. It establishes a critical framework from which discourses of resilience can be understood and challenged in the fields of governance, security, development, and in political theory itself. Each part of the book includes a chapter by David Chandler and another by Julian Reid that build a passionate and provocative dialogue, individually distinct and offering contrasting perspectives on core issues. It concludes with an insightful interview with Gideon Baker. In place of resilience, the book argues that we need to revalorize an idea of the human subject as capable of acting on and transforming the world, rather than being cast in a permanent condition of enslavement to it.
David Chandler is Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster, UK. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding and currently edits the journal Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses. He also edits two book series: Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding and Advances in Democratic Theory. Julian Reid is Chair and Professor of International Relations at the University of Lapland, Finland. He is co-author of Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously, The Liberal Way of War: Killing to Make Life Live and author of Biopolitics of the War on Terror.
Introduction: The Neoliberal Subject / 1. Debating Neoliberalism: The Exhaustion of the Liberal Problematic, David Chandler / 2. Debating Neoliberalism: The Horizons of the Biopolitical, Julian Reid / Part I: Resilience / 3. Resilience: The Societialisation of Security, David Chandler / 4. Resilience: The Biopolitics of Security, Julian Reid / Part II: Adaptation / 5. Development as Adaptation, David Chandler / 6. Adaptation: The War on Autonomy, Julian Reid / Part III: Vulnerability / 7. The Self-Construction of Vulnerability, David Chandler / 8. Embodiment as Vulnerability, Julian Reid / Conclusion: Interview with Gideon Baker / Bibliography / Index