Conceptualizing resilience within environmental peacebuilding

McKenzie F. Johnson, Tobias Ide, Jesann Gonzalez Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Environmental peacebuilding integrates sustainable natural resource management into peacebuilding processes to promote peace and stability. Environmental peacebuilding scholars increasingly view resilience as an important concept. Yet, the ways in which they understand resilience and its relationship to the environment, conflict, and peacebuilding remain unclear. Much of the research vaguely argues that cooperative natural resource management builds resilience, which has a positive impact on peace amid environmental change. Here, we examine the relationship between resilience and environmental peacebuilding. We review environmental peacebuilding scholarship produced between 2016 and 2022 to assess how scholars 1) employ resilience and 2) conceptualize the mechanisms linking resilience and peace. We argue that scholars need to think critically about the role of resilience in environmental peacebuilding as integrating a nebulous concept such as resilience may serve to muddle rather than clarify natural resource management–peace causal linkages. We offer recommendations on how to better integrate resilience within environmental peacebuilding research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101362
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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