Exposing three dark sides of social innovation through critical perspectives on resilience

Martin Fougère*, Eija Meriläinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


In this essay we expose three dark sides of social innovation (SI) by mobilising the concept of resilience. We examine implications for SI from (1) resilience thinking, (2) (critical) resilience studies and (3) the exceptional contexts in which resilience is needed. The first dark side of SI is that SIs lead to disruptions likely to cause unintended adverse consequences. The second dark side is that top-down SIs tend to be deployed in the name of vulnerable communities, but in neoliberal ways mainly concerned in making these communities more productive for society, at the risk of heightening their marginalisation. The third dark side is that SI discourse lends itself too easily to hijackings by powerful actors driving their own interests of capital accumulation while calling for communities to self-organise. We discuss how critical perspectives on resilience help us challenge these dark sides of SI.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustry and Innovation
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-18
Publication statusPublished - 27.12.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Neoliberalism
  • post-disaster
  • resilience
  • social innovation
  • vulnerability

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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