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Realizing Nonviolent Resilience

Neoliberalism, Societal Trauma, and Marginalized Voice


Edited By Jeremy A. Rinker and Jerry T. Lawler

Current neoliberal social and economic realities have had enormous impacts on the abilities of oppressed groups and marginalized communities to realize resistance and innate resiliencies. How does the ubiquity of neoliberal economic forces exacerbate traumatized populations’ helplessness, and, thereby, influence their inability to grapple with their oppressors and engage in fruitful change solutions? This edited volume asks how nonviolent conflict practitioners might intervene to ‘treat’ traumatized, and often marginalized, populations suspended in the predicament of ‘acting in’ and ‘acting out’ their collective traumas. Treating trauma is an integral aspect of successful peacebuilding work. This work aims to explore the role of trauma in peacebuilding and illuminate the ways that neoliberal marginalization impacts trauma-informed peace work.

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Chapter Nine: An Identity-Based Approach to Community Resilience (Karina V. Korostelina)


An Identity-BasedApproach to CommunityResilience


The neoliberal approach advocates for a very limited government interference in the economic lives of citizens. Neoliberalism denies the vision of the market as a tool for achieving social justice, stressing equality of opportunity (not outcome) and justifying the supremacy of powerful economic actors. It sees governmental social support of marginalized communities as an impediment for their participation in the free market and as the redistribution of wealth. In an opposition to modern liberalism that defines poverty and inequality as obstructions for freedom, neoliberal ideology stresses competition and adaptation as foundations of individual success. Similarly, the resilience approach creates a lot of criticism as well as support among stakeholders. These critics discuss “stability” as a new key goal to replace the liberal approach and emphasize resilience’s resemblance to neoliberalism as a governance rationality, as it shifts responsibility to local communities and individuals (Duffield, 2011; Schmidt, 2015). As the resilience agenda reduces obligation or requirement for government to address inequality, it may treat potential risks as a justification for decreasing efforts (Bulley, 2013). Proponents argue that this approach replaces readymade blueprints with deep engagement with local resources and practices and increases local agency (Chandler, 2012; Wagner & Anholt, 2016). According to the proponents, the resilience approach recognizes that local communities possess valuable skills and knowledge of dealing with ←219 | 220→crises and thus are built on several principles: local ownership, capacity-building, partnerships, responsibility, and a joint approach (Juncos, 2017).

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