Agency, Capacity, and Resilience to Environmental Change: Lessons from Human Development, Well-Being, and Disasters
Posted: 5 Nov 2011
Date Written: November 2011
Human agency is considered a key factor in determining how individuals and society respond to environmental change. This article synthesizes knowledge on agency, capacity, and resilience across human development, well-being, and disasters literature to provide insights to support more integrated and human-centered approaches to understanding environmental change. It draws out the key areas of agreement across these diverse fields and identifies the main points of contestation and uncertainty. This highlights the need to consider subjective and relational factors in addition to objective measures of capacity and to view these as reflexive and dynamic, as well as differentiated socially and temporally. These findings can help distinguish between coping, adaptation, and transformation as responses to environmental and other stressors.
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