Multifunctionality: epistemic diversity and concept
oriented research clusters Online publication date: Mon, 25-Aug-2008
by Patrick Caron, Ernest Reig, Dirk Roep, Werner Hediger, Tristan Le Cotty, Denis Barthelemy, Anna Hadynska, Jakub Hadynski, Henk A. Oostindie, Eric Sabourin
International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology (IJARGE), Vol. 7, No. 4/5, 2008
Abstract: This paper provides a mapping of the different uses of the word multifunctionality. To explore the diversity of meanings and interpretations, a comparative analysis was conducted through five national case studies in France, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Switzerland. The analysis conducted at national level makes it possible to identify eight Concept Oriented Research Clusters (CORCs), based on a relative homogeneity in the research practices, in the research questions addressed, in the concepts used or discussed by scientists to lead their work and in the scientific disciplines, the stream of thought or possibly the epistemic community researchers belong to. The classification helps in understanding how the term Multifuctionality (MF) is used by different advocates around a variety of conceptualisations, political context or normative perspectives. It also helps in looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the word for tackling different issues. Highlighting this diversity might contribute to the consolidation of research and to gain credibility facing the political debates. Because of what it can bring into analysis, the authors recommend to use it for the design of an analytical framework to look at sustainability, and to leave the conception of MF as a goal to the political spheres.
Online publication date: Mon, 25-Aug-2008
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