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General Resilience to Cope with Extreme Events

Stephen R. Carpenter, Kenneth J. Arrow, Scott Barrett, Reinette Biggs, William A. Brock, Anne-Sophie Crépin, Gustav Engström, Carl Folke, Terry P. Hughes, Nils Kautsky, Chuan-Zhong Li, Geoffrey McCarney, Kyle Meng, Karl-Göran Mäler, Stephen Polasky, Marten Scheffer, Jason Shogren, Thomas Sterner, Jeffrey R. Vincent, Brian Walker, Anastasios Xepapadeas and Aart de Zeeuw. Sustainability (2012), 4, 3248-3259; doi:10.3390/su4123248

Abstract:

Resilience to specified kinds of disasters is an active area of research and practice. However, rare or unprecedented disturbances that are unusually intense or extensive require a more broad-spectrum type of resilience. General resilience is the capacity of social-ecological systems to adapt or transform in response to unfamiliar, unexpected and extreme shocks. Conditions that enable general resilience include diversity, modularity, openness, reserves, feedbacks, nestedness, monitoring, leadership, and trust. Processes for building general resilience are an emerging and crucially important area of research.

Keywords: extreme events; general resilience; polycentric governance; resilience; social-ecological system

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