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Towards an improved understanding of farmers' behaviour: The integrative agent-centred (IAC) framework


Feola, G; Binder, C R (2010). Towards an improved understanding of farmers' behaviour: The integrative agent-centred (IAC) framework. Ecological Economics, 69(12):2323 - 2333.

Abstract

An effective approach to research on farmers' behaviour is based on: i) an explicit and well-motivated behavioural theory; ii) an integrative approach; and iii) understanding feedback processes and dynamics. While current approaches may effectively tackle some of them, they often fail to combine them together. The paper presents the integrative agent-centred (IAC) framework, which aims at filling this gap. It functions in accordance with these three pillars and provides a conceptual structure to understand farmers' behaviour in agricultural systems. The IAC framework is agent-centred and supports the understanding of farmers' behavior consistently with the perspective of agricultural systems as complex social-ecological systems. It combines different behavioural drivers, bridges between micro and macro levels, and depicts a potentially varied model of human agency. The use of the framework in practice is illustrated through two studies on pesticide use among smallholders in Colombia. The examples show how the framework can be implemented to derive policy implications to foster a transition towards more sustainable agricultural practices. The paper finally suggests that the framework can support different research designs for the study of agents' behaviour in agricultural and social-ecological systems.

An effective approach to research on farmers' behaviour is based on: i) an explicit and well-motivated behavioural theory; ii) an integrative approach; and iii) understanding feedback processes and dynamics. While current approaches may effectively tackle some of them, they often fail to combine them together. The paper presents the integrative agent-centred (IAC) framework, which aims at filling this gap. It functions in accordance with these three pillars and provides a conceptual structure to understand farmers' behaviour in agricultural systems. The IAC framework is agent-centred and supports the understanding of farmers' behavior consistently with the perspective of agricultural systems as complex social-ecological systems. It combines different behavioural drivers, bridges between micro and macro levels, and depicts a potentially varied model of human agency. The use of the framework in practice is illustrated through two studies on pesticide use among smallholders in Colombia. The examples show how the framework can be implemented to derive policy implications to foster a transition towards more sustainable agricultural practices. The paper finally suggests that the framework can support different research designs for the study of agents' behaviour in agricultural and social-ecological systems.

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28 citations in Web of Science®
35 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Transition
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:15 Nov 2010 13:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:15
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0921-8009
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.07.023
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-36068

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