Multi-sited resilience

The mutual construction of "local" and "global" understandings and practices of adaptation and innovation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Participatory methods to build local resilience often involve the organization of local community groups. When global organizations use such methods, it reflects a desire to incorporate local agency. They thereby acknowledge the ability of a society to be innovative and adapt when faced with natural disasters and climate change. In a globalized world, however, it is hard to discern what is “local” as global organizations play an increasingly visible and powerful role. This paper will argue that local understandings and practices of resilience cannot be disentangled from global understandings and practices. Rather, global organizations, while professing an interest in drawing on local agency, may inadvertently also influence recipients’ perceptions of their own ability to be innovative and adapt, thereby limiting, as well as creating new spaces for, local agency. In the context of the 2007 severe flooding in northern Ghana, this paper examines the mutual construction of “local” and “global” notions and practices of resilience through multi-sited processes. It is based on interviews and participant observation in multiple sites at the “local,” “regional” and “global” levels.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Geography
Volume33
Pages (from-to)112-118
ISSN0143-6228
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

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Multi-sited resilience : The mutual construction of "local" and "global" understandings and practices of adaptation and innovation. / Olwig, Mette Fog.

In: Applied Geography, Vol. 33, 2012, p. 112-118.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - Participatory methods to build local resilience often involve the organization of local community groups. When global organizations use such methods, it reflects a desire to incorporate local agency. They thereby acknowledge the ability of a society to be innovative and adapt when faced with natural disasters and climate change. In a globalized world, however, it is hard to discern what is “local” as global organizations play an increasingly visible and powerful role. This paper will argue that local understandings and practices of resilience cannot be disentangled from global understandings and practices. Rather, global organizations, while professing an interest in drawing on local agency, may inadvertently also influence recipients’ perceptions of their own ability to be innovative and adapt, thereby limiting, as well as creating new spaces for, local agency. In the context of the 2007 severe flooding in northern Ghana, this paper examines the mutual construction of “local” and “global” notions and practices of resilience through multi-sited processes. It is based on interviews and participant observation in multiple sites at the “local,” “regional” and “global” levels.

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