Role of Participation in Achieving Sustainable and Resilient Agri-food Systems in Face of Emerging External Shocks

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    Project Manager :
    Seyed Taha Loghmani Khouzani

    With a particular focus on the Global South, the main objective of this doctoral research is to analyse the role of participation, as a governance variable, in the transition toward more sustainable and resilient agri-food systems. In recent years, novel external shocks related to the health of human societies (e.g., COVID-19) and socio-political conflicts (e.g., Russia-Ukraine war), coupled with extreme environment-related shocks (e.g., floods, droughts), have exposed Resource Nexus issues and intensified the degrading conditions of sustainability dimensions. In public policy, due to many uncertainties, complexities, and conflicts, such shocks can be characterized as wicked problems. In dealing with such problems, the Resource Nexus approach calls for small, coherent, and participatory steps in all dimensions of sustainability.

    To analyse the role of participation in the face of emerging external shocks on sustainability and resilience within the agri-food system, a mixed-method research design is used. Following this design and based on a Systematic Literature Review (SLR), public policy, agroecology, and sustainability governance disciplines and concepts are investigated for the development of a theoretical framework that can relate participation to the state of agri-food systems’ sustainability and resilience in the face of external shocks. Further data is collected using existing literature, global databases, surveys, and expert interviews.

    At a primary level and using a survey-based quantitative analysis, the contextual variability and geographical validity of the current global food chains are tested based on the theoretical model developed, and the study statistically analyses the role of agri-food systems-related participation format and policies, with a view on the state of sustainability and resilience as outcomes. The findings of the quantitative analysis will enable an in-depth qualitative comparative analysis of theoretically sampled case studies. As a result, empirical evidence can be expected, that identifies participatory conditions that would lead to sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.

    This project is funded by

    CzechGlobe and the Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism (SMWK).