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Translating Agroecology into Policy: The Case of France and the United Kingdom

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK
INRA, UMR LISIS—Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences, Innovations, Sociétés; 5 Boulevard Descartes, 77420 Champs-sur-Marne, France
Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2930;
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
PDF [278 KB, uploaded 17 August 2018]


The popularity of agroecology has grown over the last few years as an alternative paradigm for food systems. This public attention has meant agroecology is increasingly becoming institutionalised and integrated into food policy frameworks. While there is a significant body of literature discussing the origins and worldviews intrinsic to agroecology, hardly any academic publications focusing on analysing policies claiming to have an agroecological focus exist. This first policy study of its kind contributes to the scarce agroecological policy literature by interrogating what we argue is a ‘translation’ process, which starts with the vision of agroecology and analyses how the concept changes once it has been operationalised into a policy document or law. Evidence from two European agricultural policy contexts, namely France and the United Kingdom, is presented. The methodology followed focused on the analysis of the context, problem construction, conceptualisation of agroecology, operational principles, and policy instruments included in the policy documents. Three main themes emerged from the case studies: differences in framing agroecology in the public policy arena; common dependencies to existing configurations influencing translations of agroecology in public policies; and the need for democratic discussion on the hybridisation of agroecology itself, as well as on implied, but often veiled, political choices. This paper concludes that a selective and relational hybridisation of agroecology is emerging during its ‘translation’ into public policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: agroecology law; hybridisation; transcodage; policy translation; agricultural policy agroecology law; hybridisation; transcodage; policy translation; agricultural policy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ajates Gonzalez, R.; Thomas, J.; Chang, M. Translating Agroecology into Policy: The Case of France and the United Kingdom. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2930.

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