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Governance, ‘local’ knowledge and the adoption of sustainable farming practices


Higgins, V and Lockie, S and Lawrence, G, Governance, local' knowledge and the adoption of sustainable farming practices, Environment, Society and Natural Resource Management: Theoretical Perspectives from Australasia and the Americas, Edward Edgar Publishing, G. Lawrence, V. Higgins and S. Lockie (ed), Cheltenham, UK, pp. 212-224. ISBN 978 1 84064 449 4 (2001) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2001 Geoffrey Lawrence, Vaughan Higgins, Stewart Lockie

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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, their understand their place within it, as well as their responses to what they ‘know’ about that environment. This paper 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 modern 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 Program (see Lockie, 1999; Martin and Woodhill, 1995).

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:environment, natural resource management, theoretical perspectives
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Environmental sociology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Higgins, V (Professor Vaughan Higgins)
ID Code:138159
Year Published:2001
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-03-26
Last Modified:2020-07-22

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