Special Issue "Agroecology at the Crossroads: Challenges for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2017)
Agroecology is a scientific approach that comes to studying agrarian production from an ecological perspective through the coordination of different disciplines. It is a hybrid discipline that, together with Ecological Economics, Political Ecology, and Environmental History, seeks to promote sustainable solutions to the environmental crisis. It is an emerging field that has not yet developed an articulated corpus of theoretical and methodological assumptions capable of offering solutions to the serious problems that compromise the future of agriculture and food in the world. In spite of this, Agroecology has undergone major development, particularly in its practical strand, developing new management strategies for agroecosystems and alternative ways of organising the food distribution. However, equal progress has not been made in other relevant aspects.
Within the purely scientific sphere, there are certain underdeveloped issues such as: the design of sustainable management for agroecosystems at more aggregated scales than the individual farms or local communities; the establishment of an ‘agroecological microeconomy’, adapting the approaches and tools of Ecological Economics to the peculiarities of agriculture and rural world; and, similarly, the proposition of agroecological policies and a new institutional framework on the basis of Political Ecology. Within the more practical or applied sphere, the creation of strategies capable of constructing more sustainable food systems, based on a closer and more direct relationship between production and consumption, has not been developed to the extent one might expect given the multitude of local agroecological experiments developed everywhere, etc.
Following its initial success, and urged on by the severity of the global food crisis, Agroecology is facing some very important challenges that it must tackle and debate as collectively and broadly as possible. For example, how to avoid the academic and political co-optation it has been subject to as a scientific approach for some time now. This attempt to co-optation aims to strip Agroecology of its potential for change from an epistemological perspective and also from the perspective of its unavoidable social commitment to sustainability, fostering a ‘weak’ or merely ‘technological’ version of agrarian sustainability and separating it from its inescapable commitment to transform the conventional food system. In this respect, there is on-going debate around so-called ‘ecological intensification’ and how it fits into Agroecology. It is also facing more practical but equally important challenges. How, for example, to prevent agroecological experiences reverting to conventional production and distribution, a process called by the scientific literature as ‘conventionalisation’ process.
This Special Issue invites papers that reflect on these and other challenges faced by Agroecology, or papers offering specific solutions to them, with the seriousness and rigour required by scientific debate and this journal.
Dr. Manuel González de Molina
Dr. Gloria Guzman
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- local food systems
- sustainable landscapes
- agroecological movements and experiences
- food Sovereignty
- political Agroecology
- agroecological Economics