The main tenets of resilience entail having strong governance structure at all levels of the government. This extends into having complimentary and consistent policies from local authorities up to the state level. Communities are never under a single entity hence they function with regards to a number of practices and policies which are dictated by the various hierarchies of the government. The policies required to achieve resiliency of a nation are a significant aspect in ensuring the population remains solidly behind its nations during traumatizing periods. There are a number of theories which support the influence of national resilience through various paradigms. The theories of functionalism and symbolic internationalism are some of the theories which reinforce the idea of national resilience. This paper critiques these two theories through evaluating the primary influences of resilience, assessing the impact of resilience in each sector and analyzing the national resilience in regards to how it can be modified into regulatory, statutory and policy frameworks.
National resilience can be improved through the promulgation of policies which specifically address the significance and importance of the process of building national resilience. Accomplishing such an endeavor requires focusing of goals which will cause construct community resilience on ideals which are acceptable to society. The tenets of symbolic interactionism theory are anchored in three premises; individuals tend to align into things based on meanings the phenomena have for them, the meaning of the phenomena is derived from social interaction and lastly these meanings are actually dependent on the interpretation and modification process that they will be subjected to by individuals who interact with one another. From these premises, the focus should be on the meaning in which the things reside. Meaning of things is derived from the actions elicited from these things (US Department of Homeland Security, 2010). The theory asserts on having reflected appraisals and the concept of the self. In regards to the development of the self, the concept of symbolic interactionism identifies that the social products of the self-reflect on the organization and content of the society. This can be observed in the internalized roles of various individuals. When this is applied at the social level, the behavioral expectations that are associated with a particular status in a set of human relationships, it acts as the link of personal and social organization.
The theory of functionalism on the other hand is premised on the tenets that society is organized into performing its functions in an effective manner. The theory does focus in how structures that are within the society function. The structures include the political institution and system, families and other facilities. It is presumed that societies are stable and hence whenever its structures perform, they benefit the whole of society. These assumptions are embedded in national resilience which determine that the behaviors observed in society are normal and that any variations in behavior determine the rate at which any action will occur within this society
An emphasis of the above arguments of both theories in addressing the various aspects of national resilience requires examining the factors that drive national resilience. National resilience is primarily influenced by distribution of resources. Having changes in allocation of resource policies impacts on the manner in which communities react resilience. The common characteristics that are noticed in national resilience in regards to resources entail the degree of disturbance that can be accommodated by a system and thereafter still maintain its functionality and structure of operations; the level to which a system has the capability of self-organizing itself; and lastly the degree in which a system is able to build as well as increase its capacity for adaptation and learning (Newman, 2002). There is the need to consider the other components such as the perception of risk in regards to change as well as how it can be analyzed in an individual and social level. The national resilience factors to a large extent are molded by the individual resilience factors. The characteristics that are observed in an individual resilience category are the abilities of perceiving risk and its associated changes, the abilities of perceiving how one can learn, reorganize and plan for resilience, the abilities of perceiving the proximity and the threshold of being able to cope and lastly the levels of interest that can effect change.
Understanding national resilience requires the abilities to perceive the risks that are approaching. The risks involved in national resilience may be categorized as financial, institutional or policies. The changes in these components being exerted in individuals leads the individuals into competing for the available slots which will be able to make them remain competitive within realms. Individuals that feel less threatened from these components feel less vulnerable in changes that are effected such as in resource allocation or in the passage of new policies. This is because these individuals believe they are able to absorb the travesties that are thrown to them and their abilities of transitioning from one extreme to another is not a huge task for them.
In order for national resilience to function optimally, various key players are required to play the various roles. The government for instance is required to institute security doctrines which should advocate for robustness and resistance in areas where potential risks are anticipated. The government after assessing and evaluating the risk, it should invest its resources towards preventing further manifestation of risk in its population. This can be achieved through the government developing defense measures which are robust at the levels of prevention and response. In the current system it however impossible to have such measures hence the governments being required to take extra measures such as having prevention, response and recovery strategies which will be used in tackling the complexities involved with national resilience (Knight & Link, 2002). A resistance strategy whereby it advocates having the doctrine of resistance requires that the government and other stakeholders acknowledging that some of the threats will at some point succeed and that the society should absorb the stress thereafter recover rapidly from the threat. This can be achieved through allocating enough resources to mitigate this type of risks.
The actions that should be undertaken by governments apply to a certain extent into the Non-Governmental and private entities which are entrusted with protecting national resilience. Conceptually, governments are required to build national resilience through using their own lexicon indigenous strategies which are embedded in their spheres of security. There is the need to however move beyond the traditional realms and spheres of security as well as emergency preparedness. Achieving this is premised on having the nations to face the threats individually so as to develop their own unique traits which will in turn determine the level of resilience which are grossly rare and particular to each society. There is need to understand also that national resilience can be grossly incomplete if there is no engagement with the complex economic and social realities which affects the expected outcomes in crises (Marshall et al., 2007). Resilience should be observed as being the outcome that has been affected by a series of policies that have been set in place to mitigate potential crises and threats which a nation stands potentially to face. The governments need to have doctrines which should be able to encompass the wide variety of the social and economic policies and regulations which should brace up the nation in instances of crisis as well as during times of peace. Thus, by positioning resilience enables the nations in having their philosophies which shall be used to protect itself from external harm.
In summary, in order to build resilience in nations, there is the need of understanding the rapid evolving of the external threats that are projected to a nation. In this current age of globalization and a revolution in IT, threats manifests themselves in a number of ways and are complex unlike in the Past. Best national resilience programs, strategies and policies should be put in place so as to safeguard the communities and societies that are within the borders that are in nations so as to navigate seamlessly in the murky waters of threats and uncertainties caused externally. Achieving this milestone will in turn lead into having a strengthened unity and trust among the citizens. Additionally, there will be a narrow margin of division factors such as immigration, income disparities and an increase of pluralism in the face of a globe which is having social connections and media growing rapidly.
US Department of Homeland Security, (2010). Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report, pp15-61
Newman, P., (2002). Promoting Resilience: A Review of Effective Strategies for Child Care Services Prepared for the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Services. University of Exeter
Knight S. & Link L., (2015). Building Blocks for A National Resilience Assessment. Coastal Hazard Center, pp 4-48.
Marshall N., Fenton D., Marshal, P. & Sutton, S., (2007). How Resource Dependency Can Influence Social Resilience within a Primary Resource Industry. Rural Sociology, 72(3), pp 359-390.
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