An Introduction to


Chapter 7


Annotated Bibliography

  1. Rodin, Judith 2015, The Resilience Dividend; Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong, New York: Public Affairs

    This book by psychologist Judith Rodin, who has been the president of the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation since 2005, provides a broad and accessible introduction to work being undertaken internationally to make cities of the world more resilient to unexpected shocks and gathering socio-economic stresses.

  2. Allen, C.R. and C.S. Holling 2010, “Novelty, Adaptive Capacity and Resilience’ in Ecology and Society, 15 (3), available online at

    This paper provides a good overview of what can be learnt about adaptive capacity and resilience from the study of complex natural ecosystems, with the authors including the ‘tather’ of socio-ecological understandings of resilience, C.S. (‘Buzz’) Holling.

  3. Adger, W. Neil and Katrina Brown, 2009, ‘Vulnerability and Resilience to Environmental Change: Ecological and Social Perspectives’ in Noel Castree, David Demeritt and Diana Liverman (eds) A Companion to Environmental Geography, pp 109-122, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

    University of Exeter geography professors Neil Adger and Katrina Brown are members of the international Resilience Alliance, which brings together scientists and social scientists interested in understanding the principles and practice of resilience. In this book chapter, they draw a distinction between hazard exposure and risk tolerance, and they suggest a need to further explore cultural influences on social resilience to environmental change.

  4. Beck, Ulrich, 1992, The Risk Society: Towards a new modernity, London: Sage.

    Beck rose to international prominence with this account of the globalisation of risk, which was published in German several years before it appeared in English. Although he argues that risks have become more complex and pervasive than ever before, he is surprisingly upbeat about the implications of this.

  5. Beck, Ulrich, 2007, World at Risk, Cambridge: Polity.

    In this book, Beck has updated his earlier work on the globalisation of risk with specific references to the risks associated with global climate change. It is largely a reiteration of points made in The Risk Society and this book is not as coherent as the earlier work.

  6. Mulligan, Martin and Yaso Nadarajah, 2012, Rebuilding Communities in the Wake of Disaster: Social Recovery in Sri Lanka and India, New Delhi: Routledge.

    This book is a full account of a detailed and extensive study undertaken by the textbook author and his RMIT colleague Yaso Nadarajah on lessons to be learnt from attempts made to rebuild local communities in the wake of the 2004 tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka and southern India. The study has enabled Dr Mulligan to comment on cultural differences in the ways in which local communities in Sri Lanka and Australia have responded to major natural disasters.

  7. Slovic, Paul, 2000, The Perception of Risk, London: Earthscan.

    University of Oregon psychology professor Paul Slovic has probably emerged as the leading international expert on how people living in western societies respond to risky situations. In this book, he notes the influence of life experiences and cultural factors in shaping the ways in which risk is perceived

  8. Slovic, Paul, 2010, The Feeling of Risk: New Perspectives on Risk, London: Earthscan.

    This book builds on the earlier Perception of Risk to focus on the ways in which different people deal with the feelings that risky situations evoke. Rather than avoiding risk, Slovic argues, people need to think about how they might better deal with the fear of risk while noting that they are far from being alone in feeling anxious.

  9. Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, 2007, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, New York: Random House.

    Lebanese-American polymath intellectual Nassim Nicholas Taleb has risen to prominence as a provocative essayist and commentator. Building on the thought that Europeans always assumed that swans are white until they encountered black ones in Australia, he uses the phrase ‘black swan syndrome’ to refer to the tendency to stick to what is known rather than contemplate all the possibilities residing in the unknown. We need to shift our focus from what seems to be predictable to the highly improbable, he suggests.

  10. Walker, Brian and David Salt, 2006, Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World, Washington: Island Press.

    South African-Australian ecologist Brian Walker has become internationally renowned for his work on what human societies might be able to learn by studying the resilience of non-human ecosystems. He has been a prime mover in establishing the international Resilience Alliance, aimed at bringing together insights derived from natural and social science on the subject of resilience. Science writer David Salt worked with Walker to pitch his ideas about resilience to a wide reading audience.

  11. Rutter, Michael, 2012,Resilience as a dynamic concept,’ Development and Psycholopathology,24(2), pp 225-344.

    As a leading expert on personal resilience, especially in children, Professor Michael Rutter considers the extent to which people can use their life experience to ‘enhance coping’ in relation to a wide range of ‘environmental adversities’.

Annotated Links to Further Web Resources

  1. European Risk Research Network

    ERRN is based at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, and it aims to foster multidisciplinary research on risk management. The network is primarily aimed at providing research and consultancy expertise for European businesses and it takes a rather unconventional view of risk management.

  2. Resilience Alliance

    The Resilience Alliance was established in 1999 to undertake innovative, multidisciplinary work on risk and resilience. Ecologist Brian Walker is the chairman of the board but RA is aimed at the interface between natural and social sciences in relation to the principles and practice of resilience. The website provides access to a wide range of publications on the topic of resilience.

  3. Stockholm Resilience Centre

    This Stockholm research centre promotes socio-ecological research on resilient systems. The website provides access to a wide range of research reports and publications.

  4. International Pathways to Resilience


    A project focusing on pathways to resilience for young people, which began in Canada but has now spread to New Zealand, South Africa, Colombia and China.

  5. Understanding Risk, Cardiff University

    Cardiff University in Wales has an interdisciplinary social science research centre on understanding risk. With a particularly strong foundation in psychology, the research centre works closely with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, which also has a presence at Cardiff University.

Annotated Links to Video Clips

  1. Judith Rodin on Resilient Cities

    Duration: 6:18

    Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin explains that in a world of constant crisis work on building resilience can reap significant dividends.

  2. The best explanation to resilience, Brian Walker

    Duration: 7:38

    A very accessible explanation of the key ideas underpinning work resilience by Professor Brian Walkder. Produced by Stockholm Resilience Centre TV.

  3. A Walk Through Risk, Part 1, Paul Slovic

    Duration: 13:39

    Filmed in 2002 at a Risk and History Exhibit at Fort Worth Museum of Science, Paul Slovic talks about the kinds of risks we encounter in a daily lives.

  4. A Walk Through Risk, Part 2, Paul Slovic

    Duration: 11:53

    A continuation of the presentation by Paul Slovic filmed in 2002 at the Risk and History Exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science.

  5. The Best Explanation to Resilience, Dr Brian Walker

    Duration: 7:38

    Produced by Stockholm Resilience Centre TV, this video features Brian Walker introducing his ideas on resilience, starting with a focus on personal resilience.

  6. Dr Brian Walker, Australian Academy of Science

    Duration: 19:22

    Filmed in 2014 at the Australian Academy of Science, Brian Walker updates his earlier presentations on resilience by focusing on the challenges we face as we move into the ‘Anthropocene’ phase of life on Earth.

  7. Whiteboard Seminar: What is Resilience?

    Duration: 7:40

    The Science director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Carl Folke, uses a whiteboard to explain key concepts emerging from socio-ecological research on resilience.

  8. Risk and Resilience

    Duration: 10:54

    Produced in 2011 by the US-based Cognitive Edge network, this video draws a distinction between robustness and resilience.

  9. Risk and Resilience after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

    Duration: 2:12

    In this 2014 clip, World Bank Vice President Rachel Kyte visits typhoon-devastated Tacloban City in the Philippines to stress the importance of work being funded by the World Bank to ensure that the exposure of poor communities to climate change-induced extreme weather events is reduced.