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Advancing the research agenda on food systems governance and transformation

van Bers, Caroline, Delaney, Aogán, Eakin, Hallie, Cramer, Laura, Purdon, Mark, Oberlack, Christoph, Evans, Tom, Pahl-Wostl, Claudia, Eriksen, Siri, Jones, Lindsey ORCID: 0000-0002-5568-2200, Korhonen-Kurki, Kaisa and Vasileiou, Ioannis (2019) Advancing the research agenda on food systems governance and transformation. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 39. 94 - 102. ISSN 1877-3435

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.cosust.2019.08.003


The food systems upon which humanity depends face multiple interdependent environmental, social and economic threats in the 21st Century. Yet, the governance of these systems, which determines to a large extent the ability to adapt and transform in response to these challenges, is underresearched. This perspective piece synthesises the findings of two recent reviews of food systems governance and transformations and proposes a comprehensive research agenda for the coming years. These reviews highlight the influence of governance on food systems, methodological obstacles to explaining the effectiveness of governance in realising food sustainability, and conditions that have historically supported food system transformations. We argue that the following steps are key to improving our knowledge of the role of governance in food systems: (1) developing more comparable research designs for building generalisable explanations of the governance elements that are most effective in realising food systems goals; (2) using the lens of polycentricity to help disentangle complex governance networks; (3) giving greater attention to the conditions and pre-conditions associated with historical food system transformations; (4) identifying adaptations that strengthen or weaken path dependency; and, (5) focusing research on how transformations can be supported by institutions that facilitate collective action and stakeholder agency.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: International Development
Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 12:57
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 05:54

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