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Creating resilient subjects: The coexist project

Larner, Wendy; Moreton, Simon


Wendy Larner


Michelle Brady

Randy K Lippert


“Resilience” has become a new lingua franca for how we should live in realms as diverse as climate change, global urbanization, organizational change, community building, and personal development. In its broadest sense, it signifies the nature of living in a context understood to be characterized by hitherto unprecedented levels of risk and uncertainty in multiple arenas (Cooper, 2010; O’Malley, 2010). Whereas growing numbers of social scientists attribute the increasing prominence of the term to the discourses and practices of neoliberalism (see Evans, 2011; Joseph, 2013), this chapter suggests that the political genealogies and geographies of resilience may be more complex. Of particular interest is how the term is being tactically used by grass-roots political subjects who are actively experimenting with relational ways of living. Drawing on ongoing empirical research conducted with Coexist, an umbrella organization set up in 2008 to support environmental and community groups in Bristol, England, this chapter argues that resilience might be better understood as an example of an “after neoliberal” (Larner, Le Heron, & Lewis, 2007)form of subjectification. While resilience is undoubtedly shaped by the legacies of neoliberalism, it is becoming central to the ways in which communities and individuals are envisioning and experimenting with alternative environmental, economic, political, and social futures.

Publication Date Sep 30, 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Pages 35-56
Book Title Governing Practices: Neoliberalism, Governmentality and the Ethnographic Imaginary
ISBN 9781487520618
APA6 Citation Larner, W., & Moreton, S. (2016). Creating resilient subjects: The coexist project. In R. K. Lippert, & M. Brady (Eds.), Governing Practices: Neoliberalism, Governmentality and the Ethnographic Imaginary, 35-56. University of Toronto Press
Keywords creating, resilient, subjects, the coexist project
Publisher URL