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In recent years, the concept of resilience—the idea that environmental systems and social forms can be designed to “bounce back” from disasters and other disruptive changes—has influenced a rapidly growing range of governance strategies in domains ranging from security planning and climate change mitigation to humanitarian aid. Among a number of Smithers-based scientists, resilience discourse and its associated initiatives have also reinvigorated their efforts to reconstitute an elusive sense of authority and power. To some senior researchers recruited to provide data and moral authority to one emergent policy initiative, however, the notion that translating laboriously accumulated field data into simplified risk models could ameliorate years of marginalization has only deepened their sense of estrangement. Chapter 5 shows how some researchers have challenged the relativizing assumptions of resilience theory and the resignation of the people who promote it by defining the “survival” of rural research in more idiosyncratic terms.

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