Tuesday 14 Aug 2018 | 23:42 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 14 Aug 2018 | 23:42 | SYDNEY

White paper defines 'resilience' away


Sam Roggeveen


24 February 2010 09:06

The opinion piece I wrote for today's Sydney Morning Herald on the Government's new counter terrorism-white paper was obviously based on an initial reading of that just-published document, and perhaps with time I'll come to revise some of my views.

But not yet. Reading over the document again this morning, I'm even more puzzled at the strange treatment of resilience.

In the op-ed, I describe the resilience section of the white paper as a 'weirdly discursive essay on social cohesion, with only a vague link to the rest of the document'. But on reflection, it's actually worse than that. The section is mostly about how governments and citizens can cooperate to provide early warning about radicalisation in the community. Not only does this bear little resemblance to the way resilience is discussed in the academic literature, but it actually inverts the common meaning by suggesting that resilience is really just another form of prevention.