Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Ressourcenökonomie

Neue Publikation: Rethinking Resilience ...

Hamborg, Steffen, Jasper N. Meya, Klaus Eisenack, and Thorsten Raabe. 2020. “Rethinking Resilience: A Cross-Epistemic Resilience Framework for Interdisciplinary Energy Research.” Energy Research & Social Science 59 (January): 101285.



The transformation of critical infrastructure such as energy systems toward sustainability imposes a multitude of challenges that are social-technical in nature and require interdisciplinary collaboration. Resilience has received growing attention as a concept to bridge different scientific disciplines in research on energy systems, given their social, ecological, and technical elements. However, a resilience framework that is suitable for merging notions of resilience as a measurable property with notions of resilience as a social construction or an observatory scheme is still a desideratum. Against this backdrop, we present a cross-epistemic resilience (CER) framework for interdisciplinary research on energy and other social-ecological-technical systems. In particular, we introduce the distinction between positivist first-order and constructivist second-order observations and identify four modes of inquiry in resilience research. Our CER framework contributes to interdisciplinary resilience research by pointing out how assumedly incompatible perspectives are able to inform and constructively irritate each other and, hence, enhance the overall understanding of energy systems. The framework has been tested in a radically interdisciplinary research project. We draw on electricity systems as our prime example to illustrate the application of our arguments and concepts.