Climate change demonstrators gather in Parliament Square during climate change protests in central London, on April 15, 2019.
Climate change demonstrators gather in Parliament Square during climate change protests in central London, on April 15, 2019. Protests across the world are taking place calling for governments to act on climate change.

Welcome back

Welcome to the second week of this short course.

This week you will:

  • Explore the role of governance in building resilient societies

  • Examine how resilience is measured

  • Discuss whether resilience can be engineered

  • Investigate how a major nation is attempting to build a more resilient future

Resilience becoming real

Resilience is not automatic and is not always a natural, obvious or definitive by-product of carefully engineered risk aversion, targeted mitigation and systems hardening activities.

Resilience stems from carefully designed efforts to build in extra measures and contingent considerations to increase the ability of a nation or community to absorb, withstand and overcome major disasters and disruptive events.

We seek to promote resilience as a highly desirable goal in civil society, as it suggests that systems prone to recurrent vulnerabilities and damaging disruptions in normal operational performance can be offset in advance of a crisis because certain steps were adopted and implemented beforehand using a sophisticated combination of technology, science, analysis and imagination.

As we have seen, the concept of resilience is fairly straightforward but with further study can be seen to be significantly complex because it spans societal, organisational and governmental boundaries. Who orchestrates these activities, articulates a strategy and plans resilience measures is at least as important as the overall resilience strategy and scheme itself.

Accordingly, we must examine those internal and external factors which can shape, influence, steer and define resilience. Elements such as resilience engineering, risk perception, emerging technologies and governance seem significant but are they controlling in all cases?

Your task

Governance refers to the tendency of organised societies and nations to select, support, maintain and promote a form or style of government best suited to the overall safety, security, wellbeing and resilience of that society or nation.

Explain why governance is important to ‘resilience becoming real’.

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This article is from the free online course:

Foundations in Resilience, Security and Emerging Technology

Coventry University