Resilience in EU and international institutions by Prof. E. Korosteleva and Prof. T. Flockhart

GCRF COMPASS Special Issue, Contemporary Security Policy, Advance online publication 21 February 2020; full issue 41(2), April 2020.


This Special Issue explores the full potential of “resilience” as a governing regime of the European Union and other international institutions. It argues that before putting ‘ resilience’ to practice, it is important to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the concept, for at least three reasons. One, it gives an opportunity to see resilience not only as a quality of a system, but also as a way of thinking, and a process inherent to “the local” that cannot be externally engineered. Two, as an analytic of governance, resilience challenges the current fundamentals of top-down global governance and refocuses it on the role of “the local” and “the person” to make it more responsive to people’s needs. Three, resilience cannot be understood without exploring where and how it is constituted–that is, without unpacking “the local” ordering domain to see how ontological insecurity and a sense of “good life” could contribute to the emergence of more adaptive governing systems.


This Special Issue stems from a series of ongoing discussions, initially launched at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome. It brings together established and young scholars in the field of resilience, supported by the GCRF COMPASS. The contributions to the Special Issue are as follows:



In her own article ‘Reclaiming Resilience back: a local turn in EU external governance’, E. Korosteleva argues that while resilience seems to have become “the everyday”, its meaning still remains evasive and difficult to put to practice. Despite the upsurge in its popularity, are we sure we understand resilience well enough to make full use of its potential? Is resilience just about an entity and its qualities, the knowledge of which could help us improve its response to adversity? Or is it more about resilience as governance-thinking which could enable local communities to self-organise to build life they have reason to value, with external assistance as necessary? Tackling these fundamentals is important, not least to ensure that resilience is not another buzzword but an opportunity to make governance more adaptive. The article argues that resilience cannot be engineered externally, and requires local communities, aware of their own strength and capacities, to actualise their own potential in their strife for “good life,” the way they specify.

Categories: gec