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Longue durée study of agricultural transitions in Denmark using Multi-Level Perspective

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Agriculture needs a radical transition towards a more sustainable model. Multi-Level Perspective has gained prominence as a framework for analysing sustainable transitions. However, Multi-Level Perspective has received criticism for the unclear operationalization of its hierarchical levels and bias towards bottom-up change. This longue durée study applies the Multi-Level Perspective framework to the case of the Danish dairy cattle sector to understand the foundations for sustainable agricultural transitions, and in doing so addresses these Multi-Level Perspective critiques. The results highlighted system elements that have persisted over time to reveal stable, recurring patterns. These patterns helped delineate the system's deep structure. Our results show that uncovering this deep structure is key to understanding how actors and elements come together to either permit or constrain development pathways. Thus, integration and alignment with these actors and elements will be necessary to extend the possibilities for future agricultural transitions. Finally, understanding a system's deep structure can correct Multi-Level Perspective's bias towards bottom-up change.
TidsskriftGeografisk Tidsskrift
Sider (fra-til)30-45
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 2021


  • Agricultural transitions, Agricultural history, Food system governance

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