In mid to late 2016 the Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) invited colleagues from across the LSE to submit funding proposals for research projects under the broad theme of ‘Resilience’ to the second round call of the IGA-Rockefeller Research and Impact Fund. The call defined “resilience” as “the capacity of individuals, communities and systems to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of stress and shocks, and even transform when conditions require it.
Building resilience is about making people, communities and systems better prepared to withstand catastrophic events – both natural and manmade – and able to bounce back more quickly and emerge stronger”. Under this broad theme research proposals were welcomed within or across four subthemes: financial resilience, climate resilience, resilient cities and resilience in post-conflict transitional processes.
Nine projects commencing throughout 2017 for a period of up to 36 months were supported. Further information on each project can be found below.
Learning to See a World of Opportunities
The research team is currently co-generating a novel entrepreneurship training curriculum with the Mayor of Bogotá. Drawing on numerous interviews and focus group discussions conducted with the target population, the curriculum overlays entrepreneurship soft skills with imagery techniques and basic principles of cognitive behavioural therapy for victims of conflict and other populations who have experienced trauma. These techniques build the capacity to think about the future and make complex decisions. The training has already been partially piloted with a small group of entrepreneurs. To evaluate the curriculum’s effectiveness, the team will conduct a large-scale randomized controlled trial with approximately 2000 micro and small entrepreneurs in Bogotá. If the project proves effective, the team will transfer the knowledge and curriculum to local stakeholders, creating opportunities for the scale up of the intervention.
Deconstructing Notions of Resilience
This research will explore how people negotiate and experience and understand their own coping strategies and resilience, as well as their perceptions of how external forces and interventions contribute or detract from these. Drawing upon historical and anthropological approaches, extensive fieldwork will be undertaken in three post-conflict settings in Uganda: pastoralist Karamoja; areas affected by the LRA insurgency; and West Nile, which hosts and has hosted multiple waves of refugees from South Sudan.
The Hybrid Justice project analyses the impact of ‘hybrid’ domestic-international criminal justice mechanisms in post-conflict and transitioning states. These courts and tribunals feature varying combinations of domestic and international staff, operative law, structure, financing and rules of procedure. Early hybrids were established in East Timor, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Bosnia and for Lebanon, before the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was expected to make hybrid mechanisms redundant.
Resilience Mechanisms to Gender Identity Crisis and the Link to Radicalisation
By war in Syria, respectively 650,000 and 1 million Syrian refugees have been displaced in Jordan and Lebanon and have been living in vulnerable socio-economic circumstances. Literature on gender differentiated coping mechanisms undertaken by Syrian refugees provides evidence of the reconfiguration of gender, in which the women act as the primary family provider whilst the men are mostly jobless. This research will explore how gender reconfiguration, as a means of resilience, may create a crisis of gender identity. The research will also examine the link between the gender identity crisis and the return to religion as a means of resilience.
Challenging urban decline narratives: enhancing community
Our overall goal is to develop an innovative synthesis of both political economy and narrative approaches to resilience and to use this to understand different urban areas in England; namely estuary/coastal towns (Brighton and Margate) and ex-industrial towns (Oldham and Stockport). Crucially we will use a multi-method approach to explore how these towns have responded and adapted to their respective economic challenges and whether their relations to larger urban centres has enhanced or undermined their resilience.
Our core questions will be: How and why have these towns responded differently to broader economic and social changes? What are the political barriers and opportunities to fostering resilience in these four case studies? How have local communities demonstrated resilience and what challenges do they face? What kind of narrative strategies can be used by local populations to develop resilience? How have political and economic relations between these towns and proximate urban centres (i.e., London and Manchester) enhanced or undermined their resilience to these changes?
Our academic partners include the New Economics Foundation, the Young Foundation, and Debbie Abrahams MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions). Key outputs will include a seminar series, 6 academic papers, and an edited collection.
Financial Resilience of Integrating Emerging Economies
This project analyses financial resilience of emerging economies in response to post-crisis policy responses by investigating cross-border financial and regulatory interconnections between advanced and emerging economies. Based on the evidence we find, we assess financial resilience of key emerging economies and propose measures to strengthen resilience.
Pathways to Resilience’: the role of an urban diaspora in post-conflict reconstruction, London and Hargeisa, 1991 to the present day
This project investigates the role of the Somali diaspora in building frameworks of social, political and financial resilience in a post-conflict urban environment. It case-studies the diasporic relationship between London and Hargeisa, capital of the unrecognised state of Somaliland, since civil war ended in 1991.
Resilient communities, resilient cities? Digital makings of the city of refuge
This project investigates the role of digital communication in supporting resilient urban communities, especially in response to sudden and/or unwelcome change resulting from refugee arrivals. Most research on digital communication and resilience engages with digital investment for economic growth, urban planning and transparent politics. Yet, urban dwellers’ responses to such initiatives remain largely ignored.
Evaluating the Resilience Impact of Climate Insurance (ERICI)
From summer 2017-2020, the ERICI project at the Grantham Research Institute (GRI) will work alongside the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) and in contact with the G7’InsuResilience to develop demand-led resilience metrics that can be used for evaluation of insurance schemes. An important part of this work will be focusing on the added value of subjective approaches to resilience assessment, alongside the more traditional objective measures. We are specifically interested in the added value that subjective measures of resilience can bring to our existing understanding of resilience, its relationship to well-being, and our ability to monitor changes in resilience in response to insurance interventions at the micro-level.
Universities as knowledge brokers in the governance of climate resilience
Effective governance for climate resilience requires a knowledge translation (KT) system with capacities to inform and prepare key decision makers across government, business and civil society. This project will critically examine the actual and potential role of universities as ‘knowledge brokers’ in the production, use and translation of knowledge among different actors currently involved in climate resilience.