Collaborative Resilience

Collaborative Resilience

Moving Through Crisis to Opportunity

Edited by Bruce E Goldstein

Case studies and analyses investigate how collaborative response to crisis can enhance social-ecological resilience and promote community reinvention.





Case studies and analyses investigate how collaborative response to crisis can enhance social-ecological resilience and promote community reinvention.

Crisis—whether natural disaster, technological failure, economic collapse, or shocking acts of violence—can offer opportunities for collaboration, consensus building, and transformative social change. Communities often experience a surge of collective energy and purpose in the aftermath of crisis. Rather than rely on government and private-sector efforts to deal with crises through prevention and mitigation, we can harness post-crisis forces for recovery and change through innovative collaborative planning.

Drawing on recent work in the fields of planning and natural resource management, this book examines a range of efforts to enhance resilience through collaboration, describing communities that have survived and even thrived by building trust and interdependence. These collaborative efforts include environmental assessment methods in Cozumel, Mexico; the governance of a "climate protected community" in the Blackfoot Valley of Montana; fisheries management in Southeast Asia's Mekong region; and the restoration of natural fire regimes in U.S. forests.

In addition to describing the many forms that collaboration can take—including consensus processes, learning networks, and truth and reconciliation commissions—the authors argue that collaborative resilience requires redefining the idea of resilience itself. A resilient system is not just discovered through good science; it emerges as a community debates and defines ecological and social features of the system and appropriate scales of activity. Poised between collaborative practice and resilience analysis, collaborative resilience is both a process and an outcome of collective engagement with social-ecological complexity.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262016537 424 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 3 b&w photos, 4 maps, 14 charts, 1 figure


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262516457 424 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 3 b&w photos, 4 maps, 14 charts, 1 figure


Bruce E Goldstein

Bruce Evan Goldstein is Associate Professor in the Department of Planning and Design at the University of Colorado, Denver.


  • Goldstein and his co-authors have managed to produce an edited book that is much more than the sum of its chapters, and where multiple perspectives are allowed to co-exist and contribute to a new field of inquiry. The book is an excellent and unique contribution to the field of social-ecological resilience that should be of interest for broad audiences of researchers and practitioners, in natural resource management as well as planning.

    Ecology and Society


  • Collaborative Resilience helps us understand why and how communities facing violence, natural hazards, and resource decline can adapt and transform, even in the face of terrible trauma. Vulnerable communities do not just 'bounce back'; they must find ways of building trust and structuring cooperation. Drawing on examples from Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America, Goldstein and his co-authors show us how collaborative interaction, when facilitated properly, can create safe spaces in which assumptions and relationships can be revised, reframed, and restored.

    Lawrence Susskind

    Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, MIT

  • Bruce Goldstein and colleagues provide scholarly, yet humane, insights into human resilience. In an age of continuing calamities, this volume provides important lessons on how we collectively survive, adapt, and transform to social and ecological crises.

    Lance H. Gunderson

    Professor of Environmental Studies, Emory University

  • Collaborative Resilience is a book of stories of communities reacting to deep, stressful events and designing collaborative ways to be resilient to future ones. It is gentle and insightful. It is imbued with both social and natural science discoveries of ways to be collaborative and flexible, rather than efficient and rigid. It is excellent.

    C.S. (Buzz) Holling

    Resilience Alliance