Societal collapse or transformation, and resilience

Leonie J. Pearson, Craig J. Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The recent article by Butzer (1) illustrated, through historical analysis, that resilience is not enough: many societies have collapsed irrespective of their resilience capacity. We argue that it might be because of their preoccupation with resilience. What they needed, and what Butzer also writes, is transformability: “…after overcoming initial, ideological dissonance, people can indeed come together to support change” (1). This is truly a message for our times as governments struggle with transforming to low-carbon societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2030-2031
Number of pages2
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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