Founded on a call to place climate change adaptation and climate risk management at the heart of contemporary development practice, the World Bank’s Africa Climate Business Plan presents an ambitious agenda for coordinating $19bn of loans, grants and investment over the coming decade. The centrepiece of this recasting of development thinking is the notion of resilience, which ties together the various activities proposed under the Plan. Resilience must respectively be strengthened, empowered and enabled in order for African countries to withstand climate change impacts. In this paper we subject this new climate-resilient development discourse to critical scrutiny. Using the theoretical lens of post-politics, we caution how the ill-defined category of resilience is deployed to reinforce a profoundly depoliticising agenda in which climate change is posited as an external threat to an otherwise seamless narrative of African advancement. In so doing, we illustrate how the Bank obscures the contested histories of African development and uses the discourse of climate-resilient development to perpetuate its neoliberal agenda within the continent.
- climate change
- risk management
- World Bank
Mikulewicz, M., & Taylor, M. (2020). Getting the resilience right: climate change and development policy in the ‘African Age’. New Political Economy, 25(4), 626-641. https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2019.1625317