Illusions of Resilience? An Analysis of Community Responses to Change in Northern Norway.
Helene Amundsen, CICERO Centre for Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo
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This article contributes to our understanding of community resilience. Community resilience is the ability of a community to cope and adjust to stresses caused by social, political, and environmental change and to engage community resources to overcome adversity and take advantage of opportunities in response to change. Through an analysis of local responses to multiple challenges, six dimensions of community resilience were found in one village in northern Norway. These dimensions; community resources, community networks, institutions and services, people–place connections, active agents, and learning; are activated in processes and activities in the village to respond to current challenges. Although this corroborates findings from other community resilience research, this research suggests that community resilience is both complex and dynamic over time. Although communities may consider themselves resilient to today’s challenges, the rate and magnitude of expected systemic global changes, especially climate change, means that future resilience cannot be taken for granted. This work concludes that there is a risk that community resilience may be an illusion, leading to complacency about the need for adaption to multiple factors of change. Hence, the ability of communities to actively engage in reflexive learning processes is of importance for both adaptation and future resilience.
adaptation; climate change; community resilience; adaptation; local development; northern Norway
Copyright © 2012 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.