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Resilience beyond neoliberalism? Mystique of complexity, financial crises, and the reproduction of neoliberal life

Mavelli, Luca (2019) Resilience beyond neoliberalism? Mystique of complexity, financial crises, and the reproduction of neoliberal life. Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses, 7 (3). pp. 224-239. ISSN 2169-3293. (doi:10.1080/21693293.2019.1605661) (KAR id:73764)


The burgeoning debate on resilience in international relations has seen the emergence of two polarized views: resilience as a manifestation of neoliberal governmentality and resilience as the expression of a post-neoliberal shift. This article explores whether a post-neoliberal resilience may be possible by reflecting upon the ontology of complexity as unknowability at the heart of this view. It argues that this approach neglects how the discourse of complexity as unknowability is a neoliberal technology of government that is instrumental to advance neoliberal forms of resilience. The second half of the article discusses this argument with reference to the 2008 financial crisis. It shows how a resilience-as-post-neoliberal approach resonates with those dominant narratives which have shrouded the causes and mechanics of the crisis in a mystique of complexity, thus encouraging forms of cognitive and political disengagement. The article concludes that by celebrating local knowledge at the expense of an understanding of global dynamics, post-neoliberal resilience offers an impoverished notion of resistance compliant with the dictates of the neoliberal order.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/21693293.2019.1605661
Uncontrolled keywords: Resilience, neoliberalism, complexity, leap of faith, financial crises
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Luca Mavelli
Date Deposited: 05 May 2019 10:42 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2022 22:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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