Assessing Sustainability Perspectives in Rural Innovation Projects Using Q-Methodology

F.L.P. Hermans, K. Kok, P.J. Beers, T. Veldkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we investigate the different perspectives of sustainable agriculture held by participants of a Dutch innovation programme called TransForum. Using Q-methodology we have systematically elicited individual perspectives on agricultural innovation and extracted their common elements. We have compared these perspectives with existing discourses of rural and sustainable development. Our results show that the use of technology and the agricultural production function of rural landscapes are among the two most contested elements between perspectives. The more radical perspectives reject technology and support a multifunctional landscape in the countryside, while the prosaic perspectives do the complete opposite with a positive attitude towards technology and a preference of the use of the countryside for agricultural production alone. Surprisingly, there is no ecological modernisation perspective of sustainable agriculture. In this article we propose the concept of ‘metropolitan agriculture’ to fill this void.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-91
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • transitions
  • discourses
  • management


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