Does the Common Agricultural Policy enhance farming systems’ resilience? Applying the Resilience Assessment Tool (ResAT) to a farming system case study in the Netherlands

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Abstract

The European Commission has emphasised that a more resilient farming sector is required to better respond to current and future economic, societal, and environmental challenges. Consequently, supporting resilience has become an important aim of the proposals of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020. However, interactions between public policies and resilience outcomes have hardly been researched in-depth. This study analyses whether and how the CAP and its national implementations enable or constrain the resilience of farming systems. For this purpose, we introduce the Resilience Assessment Tool (ResAT): a heuristic that conceptualises how policy outputs enable or constrain farming systems’ resilience. The tool consists of three dimensions (robustness, adaptability, and transformability) with four indicators each. The ResAT is applied to a Dutch case study: the intensive arable farming system in De Veenkoloniën. We conclude that the CAP and its national implementation strongly support the robustness of this farming system, but that the policy enables adaptability much less and rather constrains transformability. The article ends with a reflection on how the application of the ResAT allows for new insights into how EU agricultural policies influence the resilience of farming systems.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Arable farming
  • Common agricultural policy
  • Farming systems
  • Policy
  • Resilience

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