The contribution of a complex systems-based approach to progressive social resilience

Philip Haynes, Angie Hart, Suna Eryigit-Madzwamuse, Matthew Wood, Josie Maitland, Josh Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of resilience in social practice has evolved from a theoretical framework at the intersection between individuals and their social ecology. Critics argue this theory still results in policies and practices that are too individualised, with the potential for negative social consequences. This paper further critiques contemporary understanding of resilience theory and its application. It juxtaposes complex systems theory with a social inequalities oriented resilience practice. This provides a paradoxical approach. It is acknowledged that state and public policy decisions and actions can be anti-resilient, undermining community and social resilience that already exists in the form of social relationships, self-organisation and co-production. Nevertheless, collective social resilience also illustrates the potential of local and service user organisations to contribute to an overall transformational change process.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023


  • complex systems
  • resilience
  • social resilience


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