Friday, September 11, 2009

Book published on "Transitions towards Sustainable Agriculture"

A new book on Transitions towards Sustainable Agriculture, co-edited by Katrien Termeer, has just been published and presented to the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). The book brings together insights on a range of transition experiments in food production.

Together with my colleagues at the Public Administration and Policy Group, I wrote an introductory theoretical chapter, comparing transition management theory with an number of other theoretical approaches to change and intervention (including organizational change theories, multi-actor collaboration, network governance, adaptive management, social learning and policy agenda setting theory).
The chapter is entitled "Transition management for sustainability: towards a multiple theory approach". In the conclusion, we argue that a broad base of different (and partially overlapping) theories is needed to address the thorny sustainability challenges, such that multipe insights can be generated and that different approaches can suggest new intervention options where one approach to change runs into trouble.

Here are the details of the book.

Transitions towards sustainable agriculture, food chains and peri-urban areas

Krijn J. Poppe, Katrien Termeer and Maja Slingerland
2009, 392 pages, hardback

Transitions towards sustainable agriculture, food chains and peri-urban areas
Agriculture is changing rapidly. The greatest current challenge to the agricultural sector is for it to become sustainable in all three of the dimensions profit, people and planet. This is certainly the case in highly urbanized countries like the Netherlands, where agriculture is confronted with high land prices, rising consumer concerns for issues like animal welfare and negative environmental effects but also with new demands from the city for recreation, health care and local food products. These are some of the developments in our society that are forcing agriculture to change. The government, farmers, the agri-food industry and the retail sector struggle to meet this challenge and find new forms of governance. In the Netherlands, the government has called for a 'transition towards sustainable agriculture' and it is investing in this programme with its research and education policy. Similar trends have been observed in other countries.

This book presents the expertise that has been accrued from at least five years of Dutch research in this area. The aim is to collate the results of the experiments, to learn from them, to confront them with existing theory and to share them with a larger audience in order to foster learning about transition. Given the leading position of the Netherlands in global agriculture, in a highly urbanized setting, and its leading position in the study of transition theory this should be of significant interest to students and researchers of the transitions in agriculture.

Download table of contents of the book 'Transitions towards sustainable agriculture, food chains and peri-urban areas'. (PDF file)

The book can be ordered on the website of Wageningen Academic Publishers

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