Despite widespread evidence of an inherent potential for all communities to practice resourcefulness and resilience in their relationships with their local environmental resource base, for far too many their capacity to do so remains severely constrained.
This can be due to the degraded condition of the surrounding natural resource base; the socio-demographic characteristics of a community and its social history of engagement in entrepreneurial action; or the uneven and unequal nature of existing social relations held with external stakeholders (be they public, private, third sector institutions) or other resourceful communities.
RECOMS will apply a critical and reflexive understanding of communities as diverse, complex and defined by multiple characteristics such that they can simultaneously be sites of domination and resistance, exclusion and inclusion, division and cohesion, vulnerability and resilience.
ESRs will be encouraged to also work within contexts in which community resourcefulness remains latent and fragmented, or in which community resilience is critically low. Working collaboratively with existing local stakeholders through their individual studies, network training and integrated training cases, the individual ESR doctoral projects will retain a sensitivity for place specific factors that may serve to limit or undermine resourcefulness or resilience taking root, but also how they can be overcome.