About Resilience

Why Resilience?

Economic shocks are a recurrent feature of our economy, of which the current economic crisis is just the most recent, but also arguably is one of the deepest for over 70 years.  This crisis has stimulated interest in the notion of economic resilience, which holds significant analytical potential to help address what Hassink (2010; p. 45) describes as ’one of the most intriguing questions in economic geography ... why some regional economies manage to renew themselves, whereas others remain locked in decline’.

The current economic crisis represents one of the greatest challenges facing the European economy in over 50 years.   As a result of this, the way in which regions react and adapt to such crises, in other words their resilience, is increasingly considered an important area of study. 

This is due to the observation that regions all have different experiences of these ‘shocks,’ some may be able to withstand quite a large global event such as the recession, others may not.  It is also true that some regions will recover more quickly from this shock than others.  Understanding the reasons for this and how it may be addressed will have important implications for future EU regional policies.

'NUTS’

So what are NUTS I, II and III?  A great deal of the literature that addresses research in regional economics in the EU speaks of ‘NUTS’ levels.  NUTS stands for the Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics, a geocode standard for referencing the subdivisions of countries in the EU.  This was created by Eurostat for statistical purposes.  Simply put it refers to the size of a region that is being discussed, and as a result of this the level of detail that is available differs at each NUTS region level.  The subdivisions do not necessarily correspond to administrative divisions within the country.

To put this into a UK context, the NUTS I areas are the Regions of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  The NUTS II level consists of Counties, Inner and Outer London, Groups of Unitary Authorities and Districts.  The NUTS III level only truly exists in England where larger Unitary Authorities and Groups of smaller Unitary Authorities feature.  Therefore, a region is understood to relate to a territorial area for which a formal governance structure exists.  It would be an exception to consider a region to exist at a NUTS III level.