Call for Papers on a session entitled: Urban Security and Resilience – alternative futures?

Sponsored by the RGS-IBG Participatory Geographies Research Group (PYGYWG) 

Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference, July 3-5th 2012, Edinburgh

Session Conveners:

Amanda Smith, Nottingham Trent University and Peter North, University of Liverpool

Increasingly, cities are considering their vulnerability and by association, their ability to withstand and respond to (security) crises induced by issues such as climate change, finance, globalisation, energy price rises, general resource scarcity, terrorism and civil unrest.  In many cases cities are staring to plan for alternative futures and the concept of resilience is frequently deployed as discourse and practice via which cities can or might adapt to these crises. In social environmental systems the concept of resilience has considerable power to focus on the capacity of humans to anticipate and plan for future events, with the ecosystem in mind (Adger, 2000). Indeed, in a “resilient social-ecological system, disturbance has the potential to create opportunity for doing new things, for innovation and for development” (Folke, 2006:253). Therefore, a resilient urban system presents us with a set of pathways in which we can move beyond the dominant paradigm of maintaining the status quo and attempting to control change.

We invite contributions which can be either a paper, an outline of a research problem for discussion or an account of an experience that explore issues associated with the following questions (or others, as appropriate):

  • How is the concept of resilience being deployed in cities? Has there been consideration of the variety of definitions and deployments of the concept? Can the concept have value in all urban contexts?
  • In what ways are issues being ‘securitised’ for consideration in a resilient urban system? Whose security and resilience are being sought? What are the implications of these strategies?
  • Does the concept of resilience provide a means of exploring pathways to move beyond the dominant paradigms of neoliberalism and securitisation?

Please send your offers of contribution to –   and by January 23rd 2012.

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