Obrana a Strategie (Jun 2017)

Resilience in the National Security Discourse

  • Katarína

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 17, no. 1
pp. 21 – 42


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The concept of ‘resilience’ has turned into a powerful principle and a discursive tool in the fields of national and international security. To illustrate the growth of ‘resilience’ in strategic discourse of some of the most powerful actors of the North Atlantic area, the article is divided in two parts. The first part analyzes the national security discourse of two major powers in the region, namely Great Britain and the United States. Using the timeframe of 2010–2015, the prominence of resilience is traced in a set of strategic documents. The second part elevates the level of analysis to the two most relevant international organizations – the NATO and the EU. The objective of this part is to discuss the remarkable surge of resilience discourse, which gained a firm ground throughout 2016. The paper, therefore, explores the appeal of resilience for states as well as for international organizations, without drawing a causal relation between the two. It also highlights how resilience has played a powerful role as a value and a principle, as well as a desired end state, against a backdrop of complex and hybrid threats to both national and international security.