The Generative Potential of Tensions within Belgian Agroecology

Pierre Marie Stassart, Maarten Crivits, Julie Hermesse, Louis Tessier, Julie Van Damme, Joost Dessein

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    Food crises and ecologization have given rise to a Belgian dynamic that does not behave
    according to the conventional tripod of agroecology: practitioners, social movement, and scientists.
    Instead of simply recounting the history of Belgian agroecology, the authors trace the history and
    dynamics in Belgium), a journey along six strands that weave themselves into a Belgian tapestry:
    Genetically modified crop commandos, a scientific paradigm shift, hybrid expertise opening the
    Northern route that intersects with a Southern political route, an original non-institutional dynamic
    in the French-speaking part of Belgium and an institutional initiative that led to a rift in Flanders. In
    the following section, we identify, emerging from those six strands, four tensions that create a space
    of innovations, namely, politically differentiated discourses, land access, fair price, and epistemic
    tensions. We discuss then the generative potential of the 4 tensions and describe the potential of
    reconfigurations generated by boundaries organizations, food justice and transdisciplinarity. We
    conclude that the concept of agroecology continues to have transformative potential in Belgium today.
    However, no one can predict the course of such a largely non-institutional dynamic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages22
    Publication statusPublished - Jun-2018


    • B390-plant-breeding
    • agroecology
    • transition
    • transdisciplinary
    • food justice
    • controversies


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