Enacting Resilience: A Performative Account of Governing for Urban Resilience

Hendrik Wagenaar, Cathy Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Resilience is an increasingly important urban policy discourse that has been taken up at a rapid pace. Yet there is an apparent gap between the advocacy of social-ecological resilience in scientific literature and its take-up in policy discourse on the one hand, and the demonstrated capacity to govern for resilience in practice on the other. This paper explores this gap by developing a performative account of how social-ecological resilience is dealt with in practice through case study analysis of how protection of biodiversity was negotiated in response to Melbourne’s recent metropolitan planning initiative. It is suggested that a performative account expands the possible opportunities for governing for social-ecological resilience beyond the concept’s use as a metaphor, measurement, cognitive frame or programmatic statement of adaptive management/co-management and has the potential to emerge through what has been called the everyday ‘mangle of practice’ in response to social-ecological feedback inherent to policy processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1284
Number of pages20
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Enacting Resilience: A Performative Account of Governing for Urban Resilience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this