Governance, 'local' knowledge and the adoption of sustainable farming practices

Higgins, Vaughan, Lockie, Stewart, and Lawrence, Geoffrey (2001) Governance, 'local' knowledge and the adoption of sustainable farming practices. In: Lawrence, Geoffrey, Higgins, Vaughan, and Lockie, Stewart, (eds.) Environment, Society and Natural Resources Management: Theoretical Perspectives from Australasia and the Americas. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 212-224.

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[Extract] This chapter is concerned with the attempts of state agencies and their representatives to promote more productive and sustainable relationships between farmers and 'natural' environments. We argue that while it is important to recognise the direct attempts to regulate agricultural environments and farm management practices, there is much to be gained from an analysis of the more subtle ways in which agencies attempt to influence how people think about the environment and understand their place within it, as well as their responses to what they 'know' about that environment. This chapter focuses upon the relationships between power, knowledge, and the symbolic and material construction of agricultural environments. In doing so it draws heavily on Foucault's analysis of governmental rationalities and the ways in which these are used to coordinate 'action at a distance' amongst otherwise disparate actors. Thus, for example, Miller and Rose (1990) argue that modem government occurs not just via direct 'political' forms of intervention or force, but through mechanisms which allow calculations and strategies at one place to be linked to action at another. In relation to Australian ·agriculture, this theoretical approach has been most extensively used, to date, in the analysis of changes to state policy and activity associated with the National Landcare Programme (see Lockie, 1999; Martin and Woodhill, 1995).

Item ID: 31257
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-84064-449-4
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2017 05:37
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments @ 60%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960705 Rural Land Policy @ 40%
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