Project

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New directions in agri-environmental governance: re-assembling food, knowledge and autonomy

Applicant Forney Jérémie
Number 157414
Funding scheme SNSF Professorships
Research institution Institut d'Ethnologie Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Ethnology
Start/End 01.06.2015 - 31.05.2019
Approved amount 1'570'979.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Ethnology
Social geography and ecology
Sociology

Keywords (12)

autonomy; Switzerland; food studies; collective knowledge; food labels; modes of governance; United kingdom; New Zealand; Transnational food networks; Neoliberalisation of nature; audit systems; Agri-environmental policies

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Depuis quelques décennies les enjeux environnementaux liés à la production, la transformation et la consommation des aliments jouent un rôle décisif dans l’évolution de nos systèmes agro-alimentaires, tant sur le plan économique que politique. En effet, ils se trouvent au cœur des principaux défis en matière d’alimentation pour les décennies à venir. De nombreux acteurs interviennent dans la gestion de ce type de problèmes et développent une multiplicité de pratiques de gouvernance agro-environnementale.
Lay summary
Contenu et objectif

Ce projet vise à construire un cadre d’analyse pour mieux comprendre et évaluer la multiplicité des pratiques de gouvernance des questions environnementales dans l’agriculture des pays industrialisés. Il se base sur quatre études de cas, trois dans des contextes nationaux particuliers – la Suisse, la Grande-Bretagne et la Nouvelle-Zélande – et la dernière se développant à l’échelle transnationale. Un premier objectif est la construction d’une typologie aussi exhaustive que possible des instruments de gouvernance mobilisés à ce jour. Dans un second temps, ces instruments seront évalués selon leur potentiel transformatif, c'est-à-dire selon leur capacité à engendrer des changements fondamentaux dans les logiques régissant les systèmes agro-alimentaires. Ce potentiel transformatif sera exploré dans trois de ses dimensions : 1. la capacité à engendrer un changement de type systémique à travers l’ensemble de la filière agro-alimentaire ; 2. la création de nouvelles formes de connaissances ; et 3. l’autonomisation des acteurs concernés. En effet, ces trois dimensions constituent des bases indispensables pour qu’une pratique de gouvernance engendre une transformation plus fondamentale des systèmes agro-alimentaires vers plus de durabilité.

 Contexte scientifique et social

 Ce projet s’insère dans une ligne de recherche en sciences sociales sur l’évolution des systèmes agro-alimentaires. Il s’inspire à la fois de la sociologie, de la géographie et de l’anthropologie rurale et environnementale. Comme les thèmes qui l’occupent sont d’une grande actualité politique et sociétale, une attention particulière est portée à l’intégration du projet dans les débats au sein de la cité autour des rapports entre environnement et production alimentaire, notamment par la tenue d’un blog de recherche et l’intégration d’acteurs de la société civile dans le processus de recherche.

Mots-clé: agriculture, alimentation, environnement, politiques publiques, gouvernance, Suisse, UK, Nouvelle-Zélande, UE

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.06.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Agri-Environmental Governance as an Assemblage: Multiplicity, Power, and Transformation
Forney Jérémie, Rosin Chris, Campbell Hugh (ed.) (2018), Agri-Environmental Governance as an Assemblage: Multiplicity, Power, and Transformation, Routledge/Earthscan, London and New York.
Introduction: agri-environmental goverance as assemblage
Forney Jérémie, Rosin Chris, Campbell Hugh (2018), Introduction: agri-environmental goverance as assemblage, in Forney Jérémie (et al.) (ed.), Routledge/Earthscan, London and New York, 1-16.
The "dirty dairying" campaign in New Zealand: constructing problems ans assembling responses
Tall Ismaël, Campbell Hugh (2018), The "dirty dairying" campaign in New Zealand: constructing problems ans assembling responses, in Rosin Chris, Forney Jérémie, Campbell Hugh (ed.), Routledge, London / New York, 161-176.
Assembling Payments for Ecosystem Services in Wales
Wynne-Jones Sophie, Vetter Thomas (2018), Assembling Payments for Ecosystem Services in Wales, in Forney Jérémie, Rosin Chris, Campbell Hugh (ed.), Routledge, London and New York, 19-37.
Beyond Soyisation. Donau Soja as an Assemblage
Bentia Dana, Forney Jeremie (2018), Beyond Soyisation. Donau Soja as an Assemblage, Routledge, London and New York, 177-192.
The more-than-economic dimensions of cooperation in food production
Emery Steven B., Forney Jérémie, Wynne-Jones Sophie (2017), The more-than-economic dimensions of cooperation in food production, in Journal of Rural Studies, 229-235.
Blind spots in agri-environmental governance: some reflections and suggestions from Switzerland
Jérémie Forney (2016), Blind spots in agri-environmental governance: some reflections and suggestions from Switzerland, in Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies, 97(1), 1-13.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. University of Birmingham Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) Indonesia (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dep. of Sociology, Kansas University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
New Political Geographies, Aberystwyth University Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Centre for Rural Research - Bygdeforskning Norway (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Centre for Sustainability, Otago University New Zealand (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Biological Economies New Zealand (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Fondation Rurale Interjurassienne Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Agridea Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
ESRS Conference 2019 "Rural Futures in a complex World" Talk given at a conference De-learning to disrupt: Collective reflections on an under-theorized concept and overlooked phenomenon within agri-food studies 27.06.2019 Trondheim, Norway Vetter Thomas;
ESRS Conference 2019 "Rural Futures in a complex World" Talk given at a conference Co-producing better land management practices through partnership working? The case of Farm Herefordshire 27.06.2019 Trondheim, Norway Vetter Thomas;
ESRS 2019 Conference "Rural futures in a complex world" Talk given at a conference Reframing responsibility and accountability through assemblage 25.06.2019 Trondheim, Norway Forney Jérémie;
ESRS 2019 Conference Talk given at a conference AEG in NZ: Exploring farmers’ resistance to local government-led policies 25.06.2019 Trondheim, Norway Tall Ismaël;
ESRS Conference "Rural Futures in a Complex World" Talk given at a conference Reconfiguring European soy systems. Dynamics, multiple effects, and long-term visions 25.06.2019 Trondheim, Norway Bentia Coralia Daniela;
New Directions in Agri-Environmental Governance Practices of inclusion, collaboration, reflexivity, and reconfiguration Talk given at a conference Co-producing Better Land Management Practices through Partnership Working? The Case of Farm Herefordshire 29.05.2019 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Vetter Thomas;
New Directions in Agri-Environmental Governance Practices of inclusion, collaboration, reflexivity, and reconfiguration Talk given at a conference Towards reconfiguration in European agriculture: Small changes with big effects? The case of Donausoja 28.05.2019 Neuchatel, Switzerland Bentia Coralia Daniela;
New Directions in Agri-Environmental Governance Practices of inclusion, collaboration, reflexivity, and reconfiguration Talk given at a conference Knowledge, autonomy and reflexivity in the IP-Suisse agri-environmental assemblage 28.05.2019 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Forney Jérémie;
Rencontres Scientifiques Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux - MAPS; Université de Neuchâtel Individual talk (De-)learning to disrupt: Collective reflections on an under-theorized concept and overlooked phenomenon within agri-food studies 12.03.2019 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Vetter Thomas;
MAPS (Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux) - Rencontres Scientifique Individual talk Towards reconfiguration in European agriculture. The case of Donausoja 11.12.2018 Neuchatel, Switzerland Bentia Coralia Daniela;
Agrifood Research Network Conference - 2018 Talk given at a conference Agri-environmental Governance in the New Zealand Dairy Sector: Exploring Farmers’ Resistance to Local Government-led Policies 02.12.2018 Brisbane, Australia Tall Ismaël;
NZPSA 2018 Conference Talk given at a conference Agri-environmental Governance in the New Zealand Dairy Sector: Exploring Farmers’ Resistance to Local Government-led Policies 26.11.2018 Wellington, New Zealand Tall Ismaël;
Reciprocity and Cooperation Talk given at a conference Diverse cooperation, food localism and autonomy in the Swiss agri-food context: hopes and limitations 13.11.2018 Academy of Korean Studies, Seoul, Korean Republic (South Korea) Forney Jérémie;
System Innovation towards Sustainable Agriculture - SISA 3 Workshop Riga Poster Towards more sustainable livestock systems: Community practices and knowledge work within the UK’s Pasture-fed Livestock Association 08.11.2018 Riga, Latvia Vetter Thomas;
Social Innovation in and for Sustainable Food Provision - ESRS Autumn School 2018 Talk given at a conference Towards more sustainable livestock systems: Community practices and knowledge work within the UK‘s Pasture-Fed Livestock Association 05.11.2018 Riga, Latvia Vetter Thomas;
Agri-food Research Network conference 2017: Food, Youth and the Future of Farming: Towards a Global North-South Dialogue Talk given at a conference Agri-environmental governance as assemblage and everyday practice. The case of the IP-Suisse network in Switzerland of AEG 02.12.2017 Bandung, Indonesia Forney Jérémie;
Agri-Food Research Network Conference 2017 Talk given at a conference European Soybeans and Business Unusual - Making food and farming futures against the tide of utopic globalization 02.12.2017 Bandung, Indonesia Bentia Coralia Daniela;
Agri-Food Research Network Conference 2017 Talk given at a conference Agri-environmental governance in action: the case of a regional policy in Southland, New Zealand 02.12.2017 Bandung, Indonesia Forney Jérémie;
New directions in agri-environmental governance: reassembling food, knowledge and autonomy. Project Workshop Talk given at a conference Knowledge, Autonomy, and Bureaucratization in Agri-Environmental Governance 14.09.2017 Neuchâtel, Institut d'ethnologie, Switzerland Forney Jérémie;
New directions in agri-environmental governance: reassembling food, knowledge and autonomy. Project Workshop Talk given at a conference Food, Assessment, & Embodied Knowledge in Agri-Environmental Governance 14.09.2017 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Vetter Thomas;
Re-Inventing Food Systems through Agri-environmental Governance Individual talk Soy Made in Europe. The Politics of Assembling Knowledge 13.09.2017 Neuchatel, Switzerland Bentia Coralia Daniela;
Young Scholar Research Seminar: Transformations in Contemporary Food Systems: Social Science Approaches to Researching the Food-Agriculture-Environment Nexus Talk given at a conference Against the grain: How the UK’s Pasture-fed Livestock Association engenders transformational change in knowledge, food, and autonomy 12.09.2017 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Vetter Thomas;
Young Scholar Research Seminar: Transformations in Contemporary Food Systems: Social Science Approaches to Researching the Food-Agriculture-Environment Nexus Talk given at a conference The Dirty Dairying campaign in New Zealand 12.09.2017 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Tall Ismaël;
Sustainable Places Research Seminar Series (Cardiff University) Individual talk New Directions in Agri-Environmental Governance? Insights from Anthropological Fieldwork in Herefordshire 02.06.2017 Cardiff, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Vetter Thomas;
Agrifood Research Network Conference - 2016 Talk given at a conference Understanding stakeholders’ strategies in water quality policies 07.12.2016 Adelaide, Australia Tall Ismaël;
XIV WORLD CONGRESS OF RURAL SOCIOLOGY 2016 Sustainable and Just Rural Transitions: Connections and Complexities Talk given at a conference Envisioning the Market as a Solution to AEG in Wales 13.08.2016 Toronto, Canada Vetter Thomas;
XIV WORLD CONGRESS OF RURAL SOCIOLOGY 2016 Sustainable and Just Rural Transitions: Connections and Complexities Talk given at a conference Deconstructing the development of the Resource Management Act: New Zealand’s difficulties to address the water management issue 10.08.2016 Toronto, Ryerson University, Canada Tall Ismaël;
XIV WORLD CONGRESS OF RURAL SOCIOLOGY 2016 Sustainable and Just Rural Transitions: Connections and Complexities Talk given at a conference Toward a transversal typology of agri-environmental governance practices: a Swiss case study 10.08.2016 Toronto, Canada Vetter Thomas; Tall Ismaël; Forney Jérémie; Bentia Coralia Daniela;
Séminaire FORMAT: "Combinaison des formes d'agricultures et des systèmes alimentaires à différentes échelles territoriales: coexistence, confrontation ou hybridationdes modèles?" Individual talk Produire du lait: Qui, pour qui, pourquoi, comment et combien? La Suisse, ses vaches, ses pâturages et ses impasses 24.05.2016 Montpellier, France Forney Jérémie;
Rencontres Scientitiques MAPS Individual talk Vers une gouvernance-environnementale transformative. Alimentation, savoirs et autonomie 03.05.2016 Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland Tall Ismaël; Forney Jérémie; Vetter Thomas;
Eating Healthily. A conference about healthy food in Switzerland and Brazil Talk given at a conference The multiple ontologies of local food 25.04.2016 Univversität St. Gallen, Switzerland Forney Jérémie;
Agrifood Research Network Conference 2015 Talk given at a conference “It’s dum but we’ll do it anyway”: coercion, ignorance, autonomy and knowledge in the governance of agriculture” 06.12.2015 Queenstown, New Zealand Forney Jérémie;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Transforming agri-food systems: scales of governance, “alternatives”, and the role of social sciences 09.11.2018 Centre for Sustainability, Dunedin, New Zealand
New directions in agri-environmental governance: reassembling food, knowledge and autonomy. Project Workshop 14.09.2017 Neuchâtel, Institut d'ethnologie, Switzerland
Young Scholar Research Seminar: Transformations in Contemporary Food Systems: Social Science Approaches to Researching the Food-Agriculture-Environment Nexus 12.09.2017 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Des systèmes agricoles autonomes et ouverts face aux mutations Talk 12.12.2017 Lycée agricole du Fresne, Angers, France Forney Jérémie;
Assemblée du Syndicat d'élevage de la Sarine, Fribourg Talk 16.03.2017 Rossens, FR, Switzerland Forney Jérémie;
Voyage d'étude, coopératives des fruitières à Comté du Doubs et du Jura (France) Talk 02.11.2015 Orbe, Switzerland Forney Jérémie;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Politique agricole, labels, et cie: les réponses aux enjeux environnementaux dans l’agriculture et l’alimentation 09.02.2018 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television La matinale: Les pratiques de la filière des oeufs sont-elles encore acceptables? RTS La Première Western Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television LES ECHOS DE VACARME - Boucher: la fin dun métier? RTS La Première Western Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Table ronde: Pesticides qu'en est-il en Suisse (organisée par l'ANES et le GRAMU) Western Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Table-ronde: quels agriculteurs pour quelle alimentation? Western Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Beyond fascinating smart tools: everyday challenges in the digitalization of agriculture GeoAgenda German-speaking Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland Western Switzerland 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Le contenu des assiettes en dit long (interview par C. Imsand) La Liberté, ArcInfo, Le Nouvelliste Western Switzerland 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Mai 68 a fait fleurir un nouveau rapport à la nature et à l 'agriculture Journal Terre & Nature Western Switzerland 2018
Talks/events/exhibitions Café scientifique Jardins de villes pour saveurs des champs Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Etre agriculteur-agricultrice aujourd'hui... Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: radio, television Forum-03-07-2017 RTS la Première Western Switzerland 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) NEW DIRECTIONS IN AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE Re-assembling food, knowledge and autonomy Blog International 2017
Media relations: radio, television Prise de terre: Ecolo contre écolo: La halle dengraissement de Coffrane RTS La Première Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: radio, television Tribu- Les défis de lagriculture RTS-La Première Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: radio, television Comment être écolo au supermarché ? RTN, RJB, RFJ Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: radio, television Format A3-Comment être écolo au supermarché ? RTN Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: radio, television Forum-Les agriculteurs suisses sont-ils vraiment abandonnés? RTS-La Première Western Switzerland 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions Table ronde: industrialisation du bio? Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: radio, television Forum-Les producteurs de lait haussent le ton RTS-La Première Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: radio, television les échos de vacarme, 01.11.2015 RTS, La Première Western Switzerland 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
145163 Alternative agro-food networks: innovative integration of sustainable eating habits and food production? 01.01.2014 NRP 69 Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production
142481 Filières alternatives dans la production laitière: reconfiguration des réseaux et autonomisation des producteurs 01.01.2013 Ambizione
129464 Agriculture familiale et libérisation: processus d'adaption chez les agriculteurs néozélandais (Otago) 01.09.2010 Fellowships for prospective researchers
110372 Rester paysan. Reformulation sociales et identitaires chez les paysans romands 01.04.2006 Fellowships for prospective researchers
183710 New directions in agri-environmental governance: Everyday digitalization in agri-environmental governance 01.06.2019 SNSF Professorships

Abstract

This project builds on the general observation that current agri-environmental governance (AEG) practices are failing to answer new challenges related to new environmental pressures such as natural resources depletion and global warming (Marsden, 2013). In their studies of Western industrialised countries, agri-food scholars have mainly addressed these issues in two ways: first, they have focused on farmers’ resistance to agri-environmental policies; second, they have examined the difficulties met by alternative models of small-scale sustainable food networks that attempt to transform the dominant unsustainable food regime. My own work has explored each of these issues in turn (Forney, 2010 ; 2012 ; Forney & Haeberli, 2014 ; Forney & Stock, 2014), demonstrating their relevance but also the limitations imposed by a narrow focus on farmers and by a truncated understanding of “alternatives”. Building on this previous work, the current project sets out to incorporate these two issues into a broader analytic framework. More precisely, I identify three dimensions of AEG as potentially opening up new paths towards more sustainable governance practices: reconnection with food production, collective creation and recognition of knowledge, and emerging possibilities for farmer autonomy. These three dimensions will serve for the assessment of a large panel of instruments of AEG, in several national contexts (Switzerland, New Zealand, and the United Kindgoms) as well as a transnational level. The project will follow three Main axes. First, The diversity of instruments will be organised in a typology of multiple “modes of governance” (Olivier de Sardan, 2010), which will focus on the underlying logics and social processes at work, rejecting pre-existing categories such as private or public. Second, the typology will be completed thanks to the ethnography of a range of case studies. Those will detail AEG practices resulting from the implementation of AEG instruments in varying contexts and through different networks. Specific attention will be given to the design of AEG instruments looking at the actors involved and their role, the explicit objectives, the incentives developed to enrol participants, the tools and metrologies used in control and assessment processes, and the relations with other AEG instruments. Furthermore, the focus will be set on the actors’ enrolment and involvement in AEG networks and on the consequences on their daily practices. Third, the case studies will serve to explore the transformative potential of AEG practices, looking at how they alter the assemblage and dynamics of the networks in which they develop. The three dimensions of food, knowledge and autonomy will serve as key analyser of this potential to engage with deeper change towards more sustainable food systems.The added value of this approach lies in the rigorous use of an anthropological perspective that will allow me to cut across established categories of analysis in order to focus ethnographically on governance practices and on the social uses of governance instruments. The research process will produce an encompassing theoretical framework for the analysis of AEG. Those results will not only contribute significantly to the academic research on AEG and agri-food systems sustainability. They will as well provide valuable insights for the development of socially and culturally adjusted AEG instruments, increasing their sustainability and potential for successful realisations.
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