Kevin Grove is Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University, and Editor-in-Chief at Political Geography. His research blends political geography, cultural geography, urban geography, design studies, and environmental security studies to explore the politics of emergency management and resilience in the Anthropocene.
Re-worlding resilience in the Anthropocene: social and climate justice organizing and the politics of resilience in Miami, Florida
The question of resilience cannot be detached from the crisis of modernity that the Anthropocene heralds. Rather than pursuing security through the detachment of the sphere of human action from the world, resilience operates through techniques and practices of cybernetic control that immerse the subject of security in a dynamic and emergent world, and govern the subject through constant monitoring and adaptation to this emergent environment that constantly exceeds totalizing knowledge and predictive control. However, while much critical scholarship on resilience ties the concept to transformations in neoliberal rule, this paper explores how the indeterminacy of the Anthropocene gives resilience an under-recognized ethico-political and epistemic plasticity. As the world now exceeds human knowledge and control, the question of how this ‘world’ is defined shapes the political possibilities that resilience may offer. Drawing on fieldwork from resilience planning in Miami, Florida, this paper identifies distinct styles of resilience that reference implicit visions of the ‘world’ the subject must adapt to. While visions of an emergent world informed by systems thinking lead to practices of resilience that preserve the status quo, work with social and climate justice organizers in Miami demonstrates how alternative, radical and reparative practices of resilience emerge out of alternative visions of world defined by histories of racial and class inequalities. The case of Miami offers important lessons on the need to develop policies that can support multiple styles of resilience in order to visualize and address diverse experiences and claims of harm, vulnerability, and insecurity.