Regional Resilience: Building Understanding of the Metaphor

By Kathryn Foster, Rolf Pendall, and Margaret Cowell (Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economics and Society 2010).

This article examines how disciplines including ecology, psychology, disaster studies, geography, political science, and economics view resilience. Some describe resilience as a return to conditions before a shock. Others embrace a complex systems perspective. For other fields, resilience describes the ability of people, regions or ecosystems to thrive despite adversity. The authors conclude that although the resilience metaphor can be fuzzy, it proves useful for illuminating regional change and linking different types of regional stresses to alternative resilience frameworks.