The Rigidity Trap in Global Resilience: Neoliberalisation Through Principles, Standards, and Benchmarks

Peter Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article offers a critical social science perspective on the globalisation of disaster resilience. It is argued that the regulatory experimentation, typical of neoliberalisation, has begun to increase standardisation of emergency and security practices. Examples of this can be seen in the growth of general principles, non-statutory guidance, and international standards designed to improve resilience to disasters. This represents the creeping 'neoliberalisation' of 'disaster resilience'. When this results in over-standardisation a 'rigidity trap' is created. Regulatory experimentation may enhance the resiliency of organisations and infrastructure, but when standards and benchmarks seek to create 'resilient subjects' and 'resilient communities' the positive potential is lost in bureaucratic inflexibility. The neoliberalisation of resilience, if unchecked, will undermine the very flexible capabilities and adaptive capacity it is claimed that a focus on resilience can create.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-395
Number of pages13
JournalGlobalizations
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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