What does it mean to live dangerously? This is not just aphilosophical question or an ethical call to reflect upon our ownindividual recklessness. It is a deeply political issue,fundamental to the new doctrine of ‘resilience’ that isbecoming a key term of art for governing planetary life in the 21stCentury. No longer should we think in terms of evading thepossibility of traumatic experiences. Catastrophic events, we aretold, are not just inevitable but learning experiences from whichwe have to grow and prosper, collectively and individually.Vulnerability to threat, injury and loss has to be accepted as areality of human existence. In this original and compelling text, Brad Evans and Julian Reidexplore the political and philosophical stakes of the resilienceturn in security and governmental thinking. Resilience, they argue,is a neo-liberal deceit that works by disempowering endangeredpopulations of autonomous agency. Its consequences represent aprofound assault on the human subject whose meaning and solepurpose is reduced to survivability. Not only does this reveal thenihilistic qualities of a liberal project that is coming to termswith its political demise. All life now enters into lasting crisesthat are catastrophic unto the end.
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About the Author
Brad Evans is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Bristol Julian Reid is Professor of International Relations at the Universityof Lapland, Finland
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements ix
1 Anthropocene 1
2 Insecure by Design 38
3 The Poverty of Vulnerability 68
4 Living Dangerously 91
5 Atmos 120
6 Endgames 141
7 The Art of Politics 167
Select Bibliography 223
What People are Saying About This
''Brad Evans and Julian Reid have written one of the most radical and illuminating critiques of the currently fashionable notion of resilience.''
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University
''Anyone interested in political theory after biopolitics must read this book.''
Cary Wolfe, RICE University
''Evans and Reid do more than provide a devastating critique of resilience - they dare us to leave this barren landscape by having the confidence to embrace human life as art, and to assert our poetic and dramatic subjectivities against the dominance of the machine.''
Mark Duffield, University of Bristol
''Resilient Life is a tour de force. Brad Evans and Julian Reid mount a powerful indictment of the prophetic image of thought and the oppressive worldview of endless insecurity and threat that such thinking produces. If there is any possibility of welcoming and celebrating a world yet to come, one that is radically different from what currently is, we must, they insist, begin by moving beyond the inertia and defeatism that a catastrophic imaginary generates.''
Adrian Parr, University of Cincinnati