Von Schmetterlingen und Atomreaktoren: Medien und Politiken der Resilienz am IIASA

Isabell Schrickel


This article provides a historiographical reconstruction of the epistemological and media-cultural conditions of the concept of resilience as it has been developed by the Canadian ecologist Crawford S. Holling in the early 1970s. While older ecosystem models applied analytical techniques that focused on the stable equilibrium of ecosystems, Holling developed techniques of modeling, social gaming and assessment that allowed to learn about the complex and unpredictable characteristics of ecosystems and shifted the attention to the property of resilience. He created an environment that allowed to study the co-evolutionary development of social end ecological systems. It is shown how the concept of resilience has been further professionalized, challenged and coopted during the 1970s when Holling used to head an ecology project at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), a think tank in which scientists from East and West worked together to define the common problems of advanced societies and to find solutions to them. Here also lie the origins of Holling's later important confrontation of engineering resilience and ecological resilience.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2014.7.2.832