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Séminaire sur la résilience aux risques le 1/06 à l’UCL

Rise of resilience in humanitarian intervention 

Jonathan Joseph, Professor of International Relations at Sheffield University, gives a talk on the rise of the idea of resilience in international interventionism. Professor Joseph has been conducting research into the role of the concept of resilience from various analytical perspectives, such as through a cross-country comparative (here) or a governmentality lens (here). His talk at ISPOLE, entitled ‘The resilience turn in international intervention‘ will be looking at the international level.

More concretely, his talk looks at the recent turn to resilience-building as a major new tool in humanitarian intervention and disaster risk reduction. In particular, it looks at the strong roles played by the British Department for International Development and DG ECHO of the European Commission and asks why these two organisations are so keen to promote the idea. It argues that this is partly explained as a new approach to development that places greater responsibility on local actors while also reflecting particular strategic and institutional considerations. The talk takes a critical approach, suggesting that the new discourse represents a form of governance that offers less support while requiring more adherence to global regulations. It also argues that there is an element of fatalism in resilience discourse that suggests that we accept disasters as natural and concentrate instead on how to adapt to the inevitable. However, it also suggests that resilience offers some recognition of local context and the dangers of liberal universalism.

The paper will be discussed by Kristian Krieger, F.R.S.-FNRS Research Fellow at ISPOLE.

Details of the talk

Location: UC Louvain, ISPOLE, Jacques Leclercq Building, Place Montesquieu 1, Room 290, 1348 Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve / Map:

Date: June 1, 2015

Time: 12:30-14:00h

Please contact Kristian Krieger ( for further information and registration.