Decolonizing Resilience: The Case of Reconstructing the Coffee Region of Puerto Rico After Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Ramón Borges-Méndez and Cynthia Caron

International Development

Community and Environment Department, Clark University

950 Main St., Worcester, MA USA

Published 20 March 2019

Abstract

The term resilience has saliency in the scholarship and policy on post-disaster managementand disaster-risk reduction. In this paper, we assess the use of resilience as a concept forpost-disaster reconstruction in Puerto Rico and offer a critique of the standard definition.This critique focuses on the primacy of Puerto Rico’s colonial relations with the UnitedStates meshed with decades of political mismanagement of the island’s economic andnatural resources by local authorities and political parties. For resilience to be a usefulconceptual device, we argue fordecolonizing resilienceand show the relevance of such anargument through a case study of the island’s coffee-growing region.Decolonizing resi-lienceexposes power inequities and the individuating nature of post-disaster reconstructionto illustrate how collective action and direct participation of local actors and communitiescarves out autonomous spaces of engagement.Decolonizing resiliencenecessitates acontextualized analysis of resilience, taking into account“the politics of resilience”em-bedded in the island’s colonial history and the policy bottlenecks it creates. (PDF) Decolonizing Resilience: The Case of Reconstructing the Coffee Region of Puerto Rico After Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

 

Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332259449_Decolonizing_Resilience_The_Case_of_Reconstructing_the_Coffee_Region_of_Puerto_Rico_After_Hurricanes_Irma_and_Maria [accessed Apr 07 2019].