The House That “Jack” Built: Resilience and Urban Informality

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Focus on resilience in disaster reconstruction could at best draw the focus to the wellbeing and agency of the affected communities, rather than to instrumental solutions. Yet it may also decrease the accountability of the aiding organizations towards the communities, while leaving the systemic makings of disaster untouched. If in disaster reconstruction a house is not a house, but a process for improving lives, who is responsible if it does not have fitting walls or its inhabitants lack continuity of tenure? The paper debates whether resilience discourse facilitates the empowerment of people in informal settlements, or whether it draws their self-organization into the margins of the Empire, squashing their resistance. It builds on ethnographic case study on the Valparaíso fire of 2014 and a discourse analysis on the communication of two NGOs involved in housing reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Dimensions of the Political Ecology Conference 2017
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventDimensions of Political Ecology (DOPE) Conference 2017 - Kentucky, United States
Duration: 23.02.201725.04.2017
Conference number: 7


  • 512 Business and Management


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