Kenniscentrum Maatschappij en Recht

Understanding Societal Resilience

The Case for Engaged Scholarship


<p>Societal resilience is an emerging paradigm. It refers to responses and strategies at the level of individuals, groups, organizations, and societies that are dealing with complex societal problems. At the same time, these responses contribute to innovative solutions that make society more resilient to current and future challenges. Societal resilience is, however, conceptually relatively undefined. This ambiguity is generally seen as problematic for scholarly work. In this chapter, the authors show that societal resilience is an important social concept because of its openness. To study resilience requires research methodologies that engage many actual stakeholders. Collaborating with societal stakeholders allows not only for co-generating knowledge of local relevance, but also stimulating a comprehensive and critical research approach. Therefore, the current openness of societal resilience does not constitute an undesirable theory gap. It enables the possibility of having plural perspectives based on the complex realities on the ground.</p>

Reference Anholt, R., van Dullemen, C., de Carvalho, J. S., Rijbroek, J., Sieckelinck, S., & Slootman, M. W. (2021). Understanding Societal Resilience: The Case for Engaged Scholarship. In M. Ungar (Ed.), Multisystemic Resilience: Adaptation and Transformation in Contexts of Change (pp. 551-564). Oxford University Press.
1 January 2021

Publication date

Jan 2021


Rosanne Anholt
Caroline van Dullemen
Juliana Santos de Carvalho
Joris Rijbroek
Marieke W. Slootman


Research database