Understanding change through the lens of resilience

Wanglin Yan, Will Galloway

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


Though change is often problematic and complicated by circumstance, and in the case of disaster profoundly damaging, it can also be an opportunity to improve otherwise intractable systemic problems. With that in mind, this chapter defines the nature of change as viewed through the lens of resilience and further outlines the relationship between resilience, adaptation, and transformation. Because change is often negative, strategies to build resilience are rationally directed towards coping with its consequences or resisting it outright. Similarly, because change is complicated, with many inter-connected parts, it is difficult to prepare for even when its causes are well understood. Most contemporary theories of resilience recognize the role of complexity, risk and vulnerability, but there is not yet a strong understanding of how to manage change as it impacts groups differently across scales, from local communities to regions, or even nations. The authors propose that resilience planning and theory can be improved by acknowledging the complexities of the adaptive cycle and panarchy in particular. The chapters of the book are offered as case studies and amplification of this idea, either in practice or in theory, from the perspective of multiple fields. The point of view is global, but includes informative chapters written by Japanese contributors who focus on the unprecedented change brought about by the 2011 Tohoku disaster in northern Japan. This perspective is often missing in such collections primarily because of the language barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Resilience, Adaptation and Transformation in a Time of Change
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319501710
ISBN (Print)9783319501697
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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