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Resilience as transformative capacity: exploring the quadripartite cycle of structuration in a Mozambican resettlement programme

Arnall, A. ORCID: (2015) Resilience as transformative capacity: exploring the quadripartite cycle of structuration in a Mozambican resettlement programme. Geoforum, 66. pp. 26-36. ISSN 0016-7185

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.08.015


The concept of resilience has emerged out of a complex literature that has sought to make sense of an increasingly interconnected world that appears ever more beset by crises. Resilience’s appeal is reflected by the burgeoning mass of literature that has appeared on the subject in the past five years. However, there is ongoing debate surrounding its usage, with some commentators claiming that the term is inherently too conservative a one to be usefully applied to situations of vulnerability in which more radical social change is required. This article extends existing efforts to formulate more transformative notions of resilience by reframing it as a double-edged outcome of the pre-reflective and critical ways in which actors draw upon their internal structures following the occurrence of a negative event, thus reproducing or changing the external structural context that gave rise to the event in the first place. By employing a structuration-inspired analysis to the study of small-scale farmer responses to a flood-induced resettlement programme in central Mozambique, the article presents a systematic approach to the examination of resilience in light of this reframing. The case study findings suggest that more attention should be paid to the facilitative, as well as constraining, nature of structures if vulnerable populations are to be assisted in their efforts to exert transformative capacity over the wider conditions that give rise to their difficulties.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Walker Institute
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of International Development
ID Code:41866


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