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  • Resilience: The Power of Interactive Life

    Jonathan Pugh, David Chandler

    Chapter from the book: Pugh J. & Chandler D. 2021. Anthropocene Islands: Entangled Worlds.


    Chapter 2 examines the heuristic of ‘Resilience’, through which island ontologies have been most obviously adopted by mainstream academic and policy-thinking. Resilience is conceptualised here as an analytical field through which islands have emerged in postmodern framings of governance, as an alternative to linear thinking about progress and sustainability in the Anthropocene. Resilience seeks to capture the art of adaptation or of adaptive change. Working with islands has been significant to the rise of Resilience thinking because islands are imagined to have powers of creative and productive differentiation and individuation, faced with unprecedented changes and challenges.
    The chapter also turns to the work of Charles Darwin, and the power he attributed to islands as powerful, adaptative, differentiating ‘engines’ for life itself. Island life has become a high-profile symbol of non-linear emergence and diversification as islands are seen to enable contexts to intensify and magnify interactive feedback effects as well as acting as a baseline for understanding ‘vulnerability and resilience’, relational contingencies and ‘system effects’ that cannot be accessed directly by way of modern frameworks of reasoning. The island, as an important figure for working through the central problematic of relational entanglements, makes it particularly generative and productive for Resilience thinking in the Anthropocene.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Pugh J. & Chandler D. 2021. Resilience: The Power of Interactive Life. In: Pugh J. & Chandler D, Anthropocene Islands. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book52.b

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    Published on June 9, 2021