National Knowledge and Research Center for Emergency Readiness - Brassett & Vaughan-Williams (2015). Security and the performative politics of resilience: Critical infrastructure protection and humanitarian emergency preparedness

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Brassett & Vaughan-Williams (2015). Security and the performative politics of resilience: Critical infrastructure protection and humanitarian emergency preparedness

Bibliographic details:

Brassett, J., & Vaughan-Williams, N. (2015). Security and the performative politics of resilience: Critical infrastructure protection and humanitarian emergency preparedness. Security Dialogue, 46(1), 32-50

Abstract:

This article critically examines the performative politics of resilience in the context of the current UK Civil Contingencies (UKCC) agenda. It places resilience within a wider politics of (in) security that seeks to govern risk by folding uncertainty into everyday practices that plan for, pre-empt, and imagine extreme events. Moving beyond existing diagnoses of resilience based either on ecological adaptation or neoliberal governmentality, we develop a performative approach that highlights the instability, contingency, and ambiguity within attempts to govern uncertainties. This performative politics of resilience is investigated via two case studies that explore 1) critical national infrastructure protection and 2) humanitarian emergency preparedness. By drawing attention to the particularities of how resilient knowledge is performed and what it does in diverse contexts, we repoliticize resilience as an ongoing, incomplete, and potentially self-undermining discourse.

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