Representation in governance networks: Flemish agriculture as a case

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    The research investigates how farmers participate in or are represented in governance networks relevant for the agricultural sector. Governance networks are horizontally structured networks. Public, private and societal actors negotiate in such a institutionalised framework about ideas, visions and measures, with the objective of advising on and implementing policy. Such networks also exist in the agricultural sectors, such as the 'dialogue days' held by the pig industry, or a transition process. This research highlights the role of farmers in such interactive processes.

    Research approach
    The interaction of actors in governance networks is determined to a large extent by the communication in a deliberative forum shaped by explicit and implicit rules and procedures. We start from a broad definition of such deliberative forum. Then, in a number of case studies (innovation in agriculture, education, transition), we explore how this deliberation happens, how discourses and stakes are articulated and which factors are decisive in the collective decision process. This descriptive and explorative research is based on insights of democratic theory (representation, accountability, etc.).  

    Scientific research has already created a strong theoretical foundation and evaluation of governance networks. However, the empirical material is very limited. Especially in agricultural research, these governance networks are unexplored. This PhD contributes to political as well as agricultural sciences.
    Effective start/end date1/03/1231/03/16