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Lee Pugalis, Nick Gray and Alan Townsend

Particularly marked since the onset of the global credit crunch, a pervasive economic growth narrative has inflected political and policy rationalities as nations, regions and cities have attempted to ‘bounce back’ from recessions as well as contend with other crises. This has engendered new conceptual debates at the interface between those concerned with economic resilience and economic growth. In England, voluntaristic public–private partnerships operating in the field of local and regional development have recently prepared Strategic Economic Plans. These plans are part strategic and part bidding documents, motivated by a boosterist policy of ‘going for growth’. Derived from a comparative analysis of growth plans and attendant empirical research, this chapter provides an examination of the manner with which these growth strategies reflect different understandings of resilience. Our findings reveal that while contemporary economic development practice often evokes the notion of resilience, this tends to be a ‘conservative’ reading of the objective utilised to get back to growth and/or maintain prevailing growth levels.