Moving beyond agroecology and ecomodernism in pest management – a contribution using the philosophy of Dooyeweerd

Project: PhD

Project Details


Agriculture is faced with a dual challenge: providing sufficient food for a growing world population while at the same time reducing its environmental impact. In current debates about the future of agriculture, two opposing approaches are present. According to ecomodernism, food production should be intensified as much as possible using technology, in order to free up land and protect nature. Agroecology, in contrast, holds that nature and agricultural production should go hand in hand. Agriculture should be practiced using ecological concepts and principles. It is my contention that the conflict between both approaches is caused by fundamentally different perspectives on the human-nature relationship. Therefore, to better understand the unease between both positions, we need philosophy. I hypothesize that the conceptual framework offered by the philosophy of Dooyeweerd will be helpful to move beyond an agroecology-ecomodernist dichotomy. My first objective is to analyze what both positions entail, on the level of science, philosophy and worldview. I will focus on the human-nature relationship implied in both positions. By analyzing different pest management practices, I then aim to investigate how these conceptions come to the fore in the daily practice of involved farmers, thus adding an empirical perspective. My second objective is to conceptualize the relationships between plants, animals and human beings, using Dooyeweerd’s philosophy. I will investigate to what extent it can help to bridge the gap between agroecology and ecomodernism and also how it can add to our understanding of (normative) issues at stake in pest management practices.
Effective start/end date1/09/23 → …


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.