Beyond Liberal Governance? Resilience as a Field of Transition

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According to governmentality studies, resilience, like any other neoliberal policy framework, reproduces a paternalising dichotomy between capable Northern policy elites and incapable Southern actors. In contrast to this popular governmentality reading, this article argues that resilience thinking is actually geared towards critiquing international policy expertise and the privileged knowledge position of international interveners. Rather than imposing particular policy options from the top down, resilience thinking actively seeks out vernacular, non-liberal forms of governing. However, the drive to critique domineering neoliberal policy initiatives does not usher in a post-liberal paradigm. Instead, this article demonstrates how resilience works as a field of transition on which the retreat from liberal forms of governing is mediated discursively without giving up entirely on the notion of normative, law-based security. These insights are drawn out with reference to crime-related US security interventions in the Americas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalJournal of International Relations and Development
Early online date16 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Mar 2021


  • Governmentality
  • Latin America
  • Neo-liberalism
  • Resilience
  • Security governance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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