This book draws out the theoretical assumptions behind the drive for resilience and its implications for issues of political subjectivity. It establishes a critical framework from which discourses of resilience can be understood and challenged in the fields of governance, security, development, and in political theory itself. Each part of the book includes a chapter by David Chandler and another by Julian Reid that build a passionate and provocative dialogue, individually distinct and offering contrasting perspectives on core issues. It concludes with an insightful interview with Gideon Baker. In place of resilience, the book argues that we need to revalorize an idea of the human subject as capable of acting on and transforming the world, rather than being cast in a permanent condition of enslavement to it.
This most unusual of books stands united against the enemy of the diminished subject of neoliberalism found in the apologias of resilience and adaptation. Its authors however engage in a friendly but spirited rivalry over the origins of this subject and the alternatives to it. The result is an important radical debate on the potentials and risks of contemporary political reason and imagination.
Julian Reid is Chair and Professor of International Relations at the University of Lapland, Finland. He is co-author of Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously, The Liberal Way of War: Killing to Make Life Live and author of Biopolitics of the War on Terror.