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Collaborative Resilience

Collaborative Resilience: Moving Through Crisis to Opportunity

edited by Bruce Evan Goldstein
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 424
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  • Book Info
    Collaborative Resilience
    Book Description:

    Crisis--whether natural disaster, technological failure, economic collapse, or shocking acts of violence--can offer opportunities for collaboration, consensus building, and transformative social change. Communities often experience a surge of collective energy and purpose in the aftermath of crisis. Rather than rely on government and private-sector efforts to deal with crises through prevention and mitigation, we can harness post-crisis forces for recovery and change through innovative collaborative planning.Drawing on recent work in the fields of planning and natural resource management, this book examines a range of efforts to enhance resilience through collaboration, describing communities that have survived and even thrived by building trust and interdependence. These collaborative efforts include environmental assessment methods in Cozumel, Mexico; the governance of a "climate protected community" in the Blackfoot Valley of Montana; fisheries management in Southeast Asia's Mekong region; and the restoration of natural fire regimes in U.S. forests. In addition to describing the many forms that collaboration can take--including consensus processes, learning networks, and truth and reconciliation commissions--the authors argue that collaborative resilience requires redefining the idea of resilience itself. A resilient system is not just discovered through good science; it emerges as a community debates and defines ecological and social features of the system and appropriate scales of activity. Poised between collaborative practice and resilience analysis, collaborative resilience is both a process and an outcome of collective engagement with social-ecological complexity.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-29846-9
    Subjects: Environmental Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. About the Contributors
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. 1 Introduction: Crisis and Collaborative Resilience
    (pp. 1-16)
    Bruce Evan Goldstein

    This book originated in response to the Virginia Tech murders of Monday, April 16th, 2007. As a member of the university community, I observed how our response to this horror promoted global solidarity that supported our grieving while resisting other, more divisive framings of the tragedy. Such a constructive response to the shootings was the catalyst for a symposium that I organized a year later. Twenty-five researchers from planning and natural resource management were invited to Virginia Tech to discuss how collaboration in its many forms could promote resilience to crisis.

    The resulting essays, collected in this book, consider the...

  6. I Understanding Collaboration

    • 2 Planning Resilient Communities: Insights from Experiences with Risky Technologies
      (pp. 19-38)
      Connie P. Ozawa

      This chapter explores the factors of social trust and communicative planning in the development of communities resilient to crisis. A “resilient system” is “one that can withstand shocks and surprises, absorb extreme stresses, and maintain its core functions, though perhaps in an altered form (Innes and Booher 2010, 205). A “resilient community” may be defined as a community that is able to respond to unexpected and unwelcomed events in ways that enable groups and individuals to work together to minimize the adverse consequences of such crises. A resilient community is adaptable, not rigid. Understanding how to build such communities is...

    • 3 Leaping Forward: Building Resilience by Communicating Vulnerability
      (pp. 39-60)
      Moira L. Zellner, Charles J. Hoch and Eric W. Welch

      Rational planning identifies the elements of order in a system. It uses this pattern to predict future behaviors of that system. Complicated systems submit to rational planning because despite the greater number of linked components of such systems, the behavior still remains predictable. True, if one component fails, the entire system fails; but rational plans duplicate components to ensure redundancy and avoid system failure. Engineering has predominated as the preferred discipline to address problems in complicated systems. Planning becomes challenging, and the scope of engineering limited, when the systems for which we plan are complex. Complex systems are characterized by...

    • 4 Complex Systems, Anticipation, and Collaborative Planning for Resilience
      (pp. 61-98)
      Sanda Kaufman

      Communities face various sudden and long-term physical and socioeconomic threats. These threats include natural catastrophes and negative consequences of human actions, such as depletion of scarce water resources, soil degradation, desertification, and climate change consequences, as well as collapse of the real estate market, sudden price surges due to shortages of key raw materials, or technology changes affecting job markets. What decision mechanisms can enhance communities’ ability to sustain themselves and their physical and social environment despite such looming threats? Can collaborative forms of planning be helpful in efforts to avert irreversible damage, recover after a destabilizing shock, or adapt...

    • 5 The Study of Slow
      (pp. 99-126)
      Jana Carp

      Like many others, I often do not have time for activities and relationships that are important and beneficial. I spend too much time doing things that, while necessary, seem trivial, bureaucratic, and unhealthful. When I have time to spare, the experience is generally pleasurable and expansive. I reconnect with my immediate surroundings and with other people in my family, reach out to friends and attend to colleagues, and feel more aware of both my human community and my ecological location. Simply put, most of my life seems compartmentalized and rushed (which can be exhilarating), while only a small part of...

    • 6 Creating the Climate Change Resilient Community
      (pp. 127-148)
      John Randolph

      For thousands of years, people have been learning how to manage their relationship with nature. Every generation creates a new set of circumstances: the population and economy grow, impacts on the natural environment increase, and knowledge is advanced about the consequences of our actions (and means of controlling these impacts). Every generation must adapt to those circumstances. The good news is that we continue to learn. Our evolving social and political system has enhanced our ability to make collective decisions about the use and management of the natural environment, as well as how to adapt to it.

      Our latest and...

  7. II Collaborative Resilience Case Studies

    • A Reaching Consensus

      • 7 Conflict and Collaboration in Defining the “Desired State”: The Case of Cozumel, Mexico
        (pp. 153-176)
        Luis A. Bojórquez-Tapia and Hallie Eakin

        Resilienceis the new buzzword in disaster management and planning for natural hazards. Resilience implies the ability of a system not only to “bounce back” following a crisis, but also to learn and adapt so as to reduce future vulnerabilities. What constitutes a resilient system, and how to enhance resiliency in existing places, is still a relatively theoretical concern. Nevertheless, the rising losses associated with hazard impacts around the globe are driving a search for new approaches to hazard management that go beyond the focus on emergency prevention and preparedness. There is also an increasing interest in understanding hazards more...

      • 8 Getting to Resilience in a Climate-Protected Community: Early Problem-Solving Choices, Ideas, and Governance Philosophy
        (pp. 177-206)
        Edward P. Weber

        The potential scale, severity, and variation in the speed of the changes associated with climate change pose a series of important governance challenges to those communities seeking to become a climate-protected community (CPC). A CPC is one that is successfully connected together, such that it actively examines, understands and responds to climate change in a manner that mitigates significant climate perturbations and their damaging effects, while also sustaining local ecosystem health and the other values of importance to the community, or communities, in question. In turn, accomplishing these different goals simultaneously will be more likely to the extent a particular...

      • 9 Collaborative Planning to Create a Network of Fisherfolk Organizations in the Caribbean
        (pp. 207-230)
        Patrick McConney and Terrence Phillips

        In 2004 an initiative got underway to assist local (community-based) fisherfolk organizations in about a dozen Caribbean countries to strengthen or create strong national organizations, and then network these into a regional body capable of contributing to fisheries governance, among other things, at multiple levels. This idea still seems feasible today because the initiative has made reasonable progress (McIntosh et al. 2010), but there remains a long way to go. The strengthening and networking involved participatory action research with many different kinds of actors planning together, implementing plans and learning from the processes and outcomes amid much uncertainty. It is...

      • 10 Collective Transitions and Community Resilience in the Face of Enduring Trauma
        (pp. 231-252)
        E. Franklin Dukes, Jill Williams and Steven Kelban

        A student leader of African and Asian ancestry who is running for president of a major university’s student council is assaulted by a white youth spewing racial epithets.

        A series of attacks on white male university students by groups of younger black males befuddles community leaders.

        An anxious, elderly African American gentleman, accompanied by his daughter and granddaughter, enters a university office to ask permission to take photographs of the building where several decades earlier he and others were assaulted and then arrested, despite their nonviolent response, as they protested the owner’s defiant segregation of dining facilities.

        The community of...

    • B Advocating Change

      • 11 Fostering Collaborative Resilience Through Adaptive Comanagement: Reconciling Theory and Practice in the Management of Fisheries in the Mekong Region
        (pp. 255-282)
        Robert Arthur, Richard Friend and Melissa Marschke

        The Mekong River runs through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Burma, and China. It originates from the Tibetan Plateau. The river is central to a region that is going through a period of rapid change. Within this context, the management of the Mekong region capture fisheries is at a critical juncture: large in scale and hugely important to local livelihoods and economies, yet also a feature of contested views of development (see, for example, Arthur and Friend 2011). These fisheries are facing a number of threats, including over-fishing (Wong et al. 2007; Allan et al. 2005), environmental degradation (Salayo et al....

      • 12 Resilient Politics and a Place-Based Ethics of Care: Rethinking the City through the District Six Museum in Cape Town, South Africa
        (pp. 283-308)
        Karen E. Till

        In 2003 in Cape Town, South Africa, the skeletal remains of more than 1,400 former slaves and members of the colonial lower classes were unearthed by unsuspecting construction workers who were leveling ground to build a high-rise boutique, office, and apartment complex. The 2,800-square-meter plot, located in the chic and highly desirable inner city precinct called Green Point, was once part of a much larger set of seventeenth-and eighteenth-century informal burial grounds in what later became known as District One (Weeder 2008).

        Cape Town activists claiming descendancy from those buried at Prestwich Place momentarily halted development by protesting heritage authorities’...

      • 13 Shadow Networks, Social Learning, and Collaborating through Crisis: Building Resilient Forest-Based Communities in Northern Ontario, Canada
        (pp. 309-338)
        Ryan Bullock, Derek Armitage and Bruce Mitchell

        This chapter focuses on the relationship between social learning and resilience in forest-based communities in crisis in Northern Ontario, Canada. In particular, we examine how a “shadow network” (Gunderson 1999)—in this case, an informal group of town officials and their advisors—facilitated learning and mobilized resources as a critical first step in establishing a more formal collaborative forum to increase community resilience. Frame analysis is used to examine shifting perspectives of the ongoing crisis. The common framings produced to guide action reflectsocial learning, defined here as the iterative action, reflection, and deliberation of individuals and groups engaged in...

      • 14 Collaborating for Transformative Resilience: Shared Identity in the U.S. Fire Learning Network
        (pp. 339-358)
        Bruce Evan Goldstein and William Hale Butler

        Wildland fire management in the United States has been in a frustrated transition for nearly forty years. In the 1970s, fire managers agreed to end the war against fire on the wildlands that had dominated U.S. fire management policy and practice for nearly a century (Pyne 2004). However, despite changes in agency rhetoric and fire management policy, fire suppression continues to be reinforced through incentive structures, agency budgets, and professional practice (Arno and Allison-Bunnell 2002). Land management agencies devote increasing resources to suppressing fires that continue to grow in extent and intensity. The system remains selfreinforcing and unable to innovate...

      • 15 Conclusion: Communicative Resilience
        (pp. 359-372)
        Bruce Evan Goldstein

        This book has explored how collaboration can promote adaptive and transformative resilience. Crises can be catalytic, providing opportunities to work around existing institutions and experiment with alternatives that, in ordinary times, would not even be considered or, if they were, would meet powerful opposition. These approaches have great potential during times of rapid transformation, when existing governance and planning models often fail. However, realizing this potential is not inevitable, because crises also produce pressure to restore prior conditions, even if they were unjust and unsustainable. It takes hard work in social mobilization and collective engagement to reflect on the causes...

  8. Index
    (pp. 373-406)