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Open AccessArticle

What is Sustainable Agriculture? Critical Analysis of the International Political Discourse

1
Research Group Socioeconomics, Agroscope, 8356 Ettenhausen, Switzerland [email protected]
2
Institute of Geography, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
3
Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4707; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124707
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 21 November 2018 / Accepted: 2 December 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
The concepts, ‘sustainable development’ and ‘sustainable agriculture’, have been shaped by both political discourses of the United Nations and scientific discourses. Using critical discourse and content analysis, we trace the meaning of ‘sustainable agriculture’ in both international political and in scientific discourses to examine and identify key elements of the representation of sustainable agriculture. We found that the meanings of the concept of sustainable agriculture vary markedly: International political actors primarily produce discourses on sustainable development in agriculture and on sustainable agricultural intensification. Scientists tend to emphasise issues of environmental management. Based on our findings, we highlight the differences in the meaning of sustainable agriculture between the political and scientific discourses and attempt to explain them. In addition, discursive gaps are shown that have the potential to hinder the systematic operationalization of ‘sustainable agriculture’, such as the integration of a social dimension of sustainable agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sustainable agriculture; international politics; discourse analysis; sustainable development; agricultural development; agricultural intensification; environmental management Sustainable agriculture; international politics; discourse analysis; sustainable development; agricultural development; agricultural intensification; environmental management
MDPI and ACS Style

Janker, J.; Mann, S.; Rist, S. What is Sustainable Agriculture? Critical Analysis of the International Political Discourse. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4707.

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