Administrative Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of Administrative System: A Critical Conceptual Review

  • Md Nazirul Islam SarkerEmail author
  • Min Wu
  • Roger C. Shouse
  • Chenwei Ma
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1002)


Resilience development is viewed as a practical and effective approach to overcome the dynamic and uncertain conditions of an administrative system. This article explores factors of public administration that can enhance the adaptive capacity of administrative systems to achieve resilience. A conceptual model is developed, based on an extensive literature review, to interpret administrative resilience across several indicators. In addition, the case of Bangladesh riverine island (char) areas served as a case study validating the conceptual model. The study reveals that administrative resilience is the ability of the administrative system to provide appropriate measures to uncertainties and bounce back to previous conditions after facing risks, shocks, and disasters, and other threats to organizational stability. It also argues that administrative resilience is far better than the conventional administrative approaches in terms of organizational flexibility, quick response to uncertain and rapidly changing conditions, and strengthening the socio-ecological system for tackling vulnerability. Case study analysis confirms the conceptual model and reveals a great need to improve administrative resilience practices in riverine islands.


Resilience Administration Risk management Governance Emergency management 



This article is funded by Sichuan University Innovation Spark Project (No.201 8hhs-21), Sichuan University Central University Basic Scientific Research Project (No.skqx201501), and National Social Science Fund Youth Project (18CGL040).


  1. 1.
    Adger, W.N.: Vulnerability. Glob. Environ. Chang. 16(3), 268–281 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Adger, W.N., Vincent, K.: Uncertainty in adaptive capacity. Comptes Rendus Geosci. 337(4), 399–410 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Alfani, F., Dabalen, A., Fisker, P., Molini, V.: Can we measure resilience? A proposed method and evidence from countries in the Sahel, pp. 1–28. Policy Research Working Paper, World Bank (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alinovi, L., Mane, E., Romano, D.: Measuring household resilience to food insecurity: application to palestinian households. In Agricultural Survey Methods, pp. 341–368. Wiley, Chichester, UK (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Baker, D., Refsgaard, K.: Institutional development and scale matching in disaster response management. Ecol. Econ. 63(2), 331–343 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boyd, E., Nykvist, B., Borgström, S., Stacewicz, I.A.: Anticipatory governance for social-ecological resilience. Ambio 44(1), 149–161 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hood, C.: A public management for all seasons? Public Adm. 69(1), 3–19 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Comfort, L.K., Sungu, Y., Johnson, D., Dunn, M.: Complex systems in crisis: anticipation and resilience in dynamic environments. J. Contingencies Cris. Manag. 9(3), 144–158 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cutter, S.L., Ahearn, J.A., Amadei, B., Crawford, P., Eide, E.A., Galloway, G.E., Goodchild, M.F., Kunreuther, H.C., Li-Vollmer, M., Schoch-Spana, M.: Disaster resilience: a national imperative. Environ. Sci. Policy Sustain. Dev. 55(2), 25–29 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Armitage, D.: Resilience and administrative law. Ecol. Soc. 18(2), 10–11 (2013)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Duit, A.: Resilience thinking: lessons for public administration: resilience thinking: lessons for public administration. Public Adm. 94(2), 364–380 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Vandenbroucke, J.P., von Elm, E., Altman, D.G., Gøtzsche, P.C., Mulrow, C.D., et al.: Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology (STROBE): explanation and elaboration. PLOS Med. 4(10), e297 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Garschagen, M.: Resilience and organisational institutionalism from a cross-cultural perspective: an exploration based on urban climate change adaptation in vietnam. Nat. Hazards 67(1), 25–46 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Goldsmith, S., Eggers, W.D.: Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector. Brookings Institution Press, Washington DC (2005)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Haase, T.W.: Administrative resilience: evaluating the adaptive capacity of administrative systems that operate in dynamic and uncertain conditions. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hegger, D.L.T., Driessen, P.P.J., Bakker, M.H.N.: Evaluations of flood risk governance in terms of resilience, efficiency and legitimacy. Flood Risk Management Strategies and Governance, pp. 55–61 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kendra, J.M.: Shared risk: complex systems in seismic response (1st ed.). Environ. Hazards 2(3), 129–130 (2001)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Manyena, S.B.: Rural local authorities and disaster resilience in zimbabwe. Disaster Prev. Manag. 15(5), 810–820 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Johnson, E.S., Matanoski, G.M.: Disaster management: enabling resilience. In: Masys, A. (ed.) Medicina del Lavoro, vol. 78. Springer International Publishing, ChamGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ostrom, E.: Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton University Press, United States of America (2005)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Milley, P., Jiwani, F.: Resilience and public administration: implications for the new political governance in Canada. Second World Congress on Resilience: From Person to Society, pp. 811–816 (2014)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Moher, D., Liberati, A., et al.: Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. PLoS Med. 6(7), e1000097 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ostrom, E., Janssen, M.A.: Multi-level governance and resilience of social-ecological systems. Globalisation, Poverty and Conflict, pp. 239–259. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    BBS: Statistical yearbook of Bangladesh. Dhaka, Bangladesh (2012)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Toonen, T.: Resilience in public administration: the work of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom from a public administration perspective. Public Adm. Rev. 70(1), 193–202 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Vandenabeele, W.: Toward a public administration theory of public service motivation. Public Manag. Rev. 9(4), 545–556 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Md Nazirul Islam Sarker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Min Wu
    • 1
  • Roger C. Shouse
    • 1
  • Chenwei Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public AdministrationSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations