Research Group: Community Self-Organisation for Resilience
Focus of our Research
This research focuses on the complex and contested ways in which communities self-organize to manage the food and water resources upon which they depend. From re-purposing and re-valuing forgotten resources and skills in an age of austerity, to adopting new technologies for new opportunities, or re-building livelihoods after disasters or conflicts, communities embrace multiple strategies and tactics in their pathways to resilience.
We understand community resilience as a cyclical process of personal and collective action, which is dynamic, plural and adaptive rather than static and singular. Moreover, through our research programme, we seek to further progress critical understandings of the concept of community resilience. In particular, we trace the genealogy of ‘resilience’ as a concept; we critically attend to the various ways in which ‘resilience’ has been mobilised in different discursive, disciplinary and policy settings; and we attend to the large scale political-economic structures which enable or restrict the ability of communities to be resilient. Our approach understands communities in the broadest sense of that term, to include local groups, socio-cultural groups and shared interest groups, and we recognize that communities are diverse, complex and defined by multiple tensions. They can simultaneously be sites of domination and resistance, exclusion and inclusion, division and cohesion, vulnerability and resilience.
We specialize in participatory research methods, which recognize the value of citizen knowledge and expertise. These methods can unlock the transformative potential arising from the blurring of boundaries between scientific, professional and traditional knowledge systems. Our multifaceted and strategic program is rooted in rigorous research which aims to generate and mobilize knowledge with significant impact on policy and in communities at local, national and planetary scales. Our ambition is to work creatively with diverse communities to co-produce the knowledge-practices and processes that will regenerate water and food systems that ultimately contribute to a more just, caring and resilient world.
Watch members of the CAWR team working on the 'Community Self-Organisation for Resilience' theme discuss their aims, objectives and latest projects in the video below:
Spaces of alternative and local food production and consumption have been the subject of considerable interest within agri-food research and policy making circles in recent decades.
The Master Gardener programme is a volunteer support network, proving free local advice and support about growing food to local people and communities.
This FP7 funded project assesses both the environmental and the socio-economic impacts of food chains.