Introduction: Where in Law is Social-Ecological Resilience?

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
"How does resilience research matter for legal scholarship and law, and the other way around, how does law and legal scholarship matter for resilience research and for social-ecological resilience? Resilience research, besides describing and theorizing how social-ecological systems work, seeks to identify factors that enhance the resilience of such systems or reduce it for the sake of transformations into new development paths. It thus has an essential normative dimension and through that dimension intends to influence policy to develop in more resilient ways. Law also seeks to pursue normative ends related to concepts such as justice and the rule of law. By way of its concepts, rules, procedures, and institutions, law seeks to protect certain societal values such as equality before the law and nondiscrimination. In addition, law is used as an instrument to achieve various environmental and social objectives such as the protection of habitats, the prohibition to market and use hazardous chemicals, or the construction of buildings to withstand floods and earthquakes. However, these same concepts, rules, procedures, and institutions also affect society’s capacity to address change, complexity, and adaptation. We suggest that it is therefore important for resilience researchers to engage with law and for legal researchers to engage with resilience thinking if more sustainable societal structures are to be attained."
international law, justice, law, resilience