System Innovations, Knowledge Regimes, and Design Practices towards Sustainable Agriculture

Paru en 2013 aux éditions INRA
Book par Barbier Marc et Elzen Boelie

Over the past decade, the transition towards sustainable agriculture has been a central theme in the work of many organisations, including government bodies, NGOs, professional organisations and research institutions. Various publications, including White Papers by the EU and different national governments, define future targets and objectives to improve sustainability in various sub-sectors like animal production, arable farming, or glasshouse horticulture. There are furthermore growing concerns about the sustainable use of biomass for fuel, feed and fibres, which also became public issues in terms of ethical or economic relations regarding the multi-functionality of agriculture.

It has become clear that the development of our industrial societies has had serious negative effects. This is true for a variety of sectors including the agro-food system (sensu largo, that is, including the production of food, feed, fuel and fibres). Despite most governments’ adoption of the notion of sustainable development as a basic policy principle, it is becoming increasingly clear that the achievement of a ‘post-industrial’ society will not necessarily result in a more sustainable society, i.e. a society that is characterised by a better balance between economic, social and ecological goals. Ensuring that any transition that might be taking place does lead to more sustainability is a major challenge for societies in general and for agro-food systems in particular. In this context the relations between agronomic science, agricultural technologies, and public or private expectations are at stake. This leads to claims for “innovative innovation” concerning the purposes and ways of designing new technologies and practices, or new practices in relation to existing techniques. In fact, these claims indicate a need for a shift in the governance of research and innovation to achieve a sustainable future.

This book is directed at those involved in research activities and decision-making that target sustainable transitions of the agricultural sector, food system and more largely environmental planning and ecosystem services. The contributions provide substantial reflections and case studies, and question the type of relationships and knowledge exchanges that should enhance the delivery of more sustainable system innovation and foster more diversity in the governance of transitions.

Publisher : Inra – Science for Action and Development
Published : November 2012
Publication year : 2012
Published under the Creative Commons licence
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 France (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 FR)
 ISBN : 2-7380-1306-6
EAN : 978 273 801 3064


Download the whole document [pdf, 8Mo]

Preface & Acknowledgements  [pdf]
Boelie Elzen, Marc Barbier, Marianne Cerf, Barbara van Mierlo, Bram Bos, Gilles Allaire


Boelie Elzen, Marc Barbier

Part I – Alternatives to industrialised agriculture

Chapter 1. New identities, new commitments : something is lacking between niche and regime[pdf]
Flávia Charão Marques, Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, Fábio Kessler Dal Soglio

Chapter 2. The contribution of conversion to organic food and farming to the analysis of dynamics and governance in transitions towards sustainable agri-food systems [pdf]
Natacha Sautereau, Stéphane Bellon

Chapter 3. Coexisting organic standards : setting boundaries, navigating multiplicity and enacting commonality [pdf]
Maarten van der Kamp

Chapter 4. Bridging incompatible regimes : how the formation of intermediary regimes drives system innovation [pdf]
J. Francisca Flinterman, Dirk Roep, Arjan Luijer

Part II – Intervention with design

Chapter 5. The art of ’doing’ sustainable agricultural innovation : approaches and attitudes to facilitating transitional projects [pdf]
Anne Loeber, Tycho Vermeulen

Chapter 6. Participatory action research initiatives to generate innovations towards a sustainable agriculture : a case study in Southern Spain [pdf]
Mamen Cuéllar Padilla, Luiz Octávio Ramos Filho

Chapter 7. Reflexive interactive design as an instrument for dual track governance [pdf]
A.P. (Bram) Bos, John Grin

Chapter 8. Co-design as an emerging distributed dialogical process between users and designers [pdf]
Pascal Béguin, Marianne Cerf, Lorène Prost

Part III – Innovation with promise

Chapter 9. Contending european agendas for agricultural innovation [pdf]
Les Levidow

Chapter 10. Understanding eco-industrial development processes through multiple change perspectives [pdf]
Veerle Verguts, Joost Dessein, Ludwig Lauwers,Renate Werkman, Katrien Termeer

Chapter 11. Developing sustainable livestock production systems. Outline of a learning and experimentation strategy (LES) [pdf]
Boelie Elzen, Sierk Spoelstra

Chapter 12. The sustainable fibres of generative expectation management : the « building with hemp » case study [pdf]
Pascal Le Masson, Pauline Caron, Marc Barbier, Franck Aggeri


Inducing change towards sustainable agriculture [pdf]
Boelie Elzen, Marc Barbier

Citing this document

Barbier M. and Elzen B. (eds), 2012. System Innovations, Knowledge Regimes, and Design Practices towards Transitions for Sustainable Agriculture. Inra [online], posted online November 20, 2012.