Matthew Allen writes about the widespread use of the word ‘resilience’ in post-disaster scenarios in Australia. Adopted by the media, by government agencies, community groups and NGOs, it is often associated with national character: being ‘tough’, ‘hardy’, ‘battlers’, ‘pragmatic’, ‘plucky’ etc.1 In the context of increasingly extreme and frequent natural disasters, the idea of resilience may be instrumentalised by policy makers to offload responsibility for mitigating the causes and consequences of such disasters onto individuals within the affected communities themselves.
1. Matthew Allen, ‘Deconstructing 'Resilience' in the Aftermath of Disasters in Australia’ The Senshu Social Capital Review No.4 (2013). www.senshu-u.ac.jp/scapital/pdf/04matthew,sscr4.pdf