Explaining the EU’s Resilience Turn: A not so special tool of a somewhat special actor

By Jonathan Joseph, University of Sheffield

The idea of resilience has become a popular idea across a range of policy areas and in the fields of international development and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in particular. Simply put, resilience, at least in this policy area, can be defined as our ability to withstand, adapt to, and recover from external crisis such as environmental changes, natural disasters and human-made conflicts. In contrast to strategies that prioritise prevention and response, resilience’s key notions are preparedness and adaptation. The European Union (EU) has been quick to embrace the idea, launching pilot projects in The Sahel and Horn of Africa regions. It is also prominent in new strategy documents on international aid and development. But why has the idea become some popular in these areas in such a relatively short space of time? Continue reading