The resilience concept requires greater attention to human livelihoods if it is to address the limits to adaptation strategies and the development needs of the planet's poorest and most vulnerable people. Although the concept of resilience is increasingly informing research and policy, its transfer from ecological theory to social systems leads to weak engagement with normative, social and political dimensions of climate change adaptation. A livelihood perspective helps to strengthen resilience thinking by placing greater emphasis on human needs and their agency, empowerment and human rights, and considering adaptive livelihood systems in the context of wider transformational changes.
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The authors acknowledge support of the Munich Re Foundation and other participants of the 2013 Resilience Academy meeting, which led to the development of this paper.