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Sustainability 2012, 4(12), 3248-3259; doi:10.3390/su4123248
Communication

General Resilience to Cope with Extreme Events

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1 Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA 2 Department of Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA 3 School of International and Public Affairs/The Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA 4 Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden 5 Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA 6 The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Box 50005, 10405 Stockholm, Sweden 7 Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia 8 Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden 9 Department of Economics, Uppsala University, Box 513, 751-20 Uppsala, Sweden 10 Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, 1994 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA 11 Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, PO Box 8080, 6700 DD, Wageningen, The Netherlands 12 Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA 13 Environmental Defense Fund, New York, NY 10010, USA 14 Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Box 90328, Durham, NC 27708, USA 15 Sustainable Ecosystems, GPO Box 284, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia 16 Athens University of Economics and Business, 76 Patission Street, 104 34 Athens, Greece 17 Department of Economics and Center, Tilburg University, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 October 2012 / Accepted: 14 November 2012 / Published: 28 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation or Extinction)
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Abstract

Resilience to specified kinds of disasters is an active area of research and practice. However, rare or unprecedented disturbances that are unusually intense or extensive require a more broad-spectrum type of resilience. General resilience is the capacity of social-ecological systems to adapt or transform in response to unfamiliar, unexpected and extreme shocks. Conditions that enable general resilience include diversity, modularity, openness, reserves, feedbacks, nestedness, monitoring, leadership, and trust. Processes for building general resilience are an emerging and crucially important area of research.
Keywords: extreme events; general resilience; polycentric governance; resilience; social-ecological system extreme events; general resilience; polycentric governance; resilience; social-ecological system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Carpenter, S.R.; Arrow, K.J.; Barrett, S.; Biggs, R.; Brock, W.A.; Crépin, A.-S.; Engström, G.; Folke, C.; Hughes, T.P.; Kautsky, N.; Li, C.-Z.; McCarney, G.; Meng, K.; Mäler, K.-G.; Polasky, S.; Scheffer, M.; Shogren, J.; Sterner, T.; Vincent, J.R.; Walker, B.; Xepapadeas, A.; Zeeuw, A.D. General Resilience to Cope with Extreme Events. Sustainability 2012, 4, 3248-3259.

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