• Freya Rixen-Cunow
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The call for sustainable development marks a major thread in almost all institutions, organizations, governments and the international community alike. In Norway, this led to the so called green shift. It includes, among other things, the development of renewable energy projects, in particular wind energy. Those projects, however, are in conflict with the reindeer pastoralism of the Sámi people, as it diminishes the exercise of their traditional way of life. As a consequence, local and indigenous communities resist the new and positively intended changes which threaten them in the name of the greater good. This raises questions of how just the green shift is, considering especially the underlying historical, cultural, sociopolitical and economic structures. Based on the concepts of environmental justice and just sustainabilities, the aim of this thesis is twofold: firstly, to elucidate the links between sustainable development, social justice and indigenous environmental activism, and secondly, to examine activists’ perspectives and experiences of sustainability and justice in regard to the Norwegian green shift. For this purpose, data were collected through both in-depth interviews mainly with people engaged in environmental issues and identifying as Sámi, and the participation and observation of several meetings. It has been shown that the informants generally evaluated the process of the green shift as contrasting with their values, knowledge, awareness, perceptions of justice and equity, identity and indigenous rights. The concept of sustainable development has been found to have lost its credibility for the activists. It fails to include not only justice at several dimensions, but also lacks different perspectives and (post) colonial and ethical considerations. Furthermore, instead of benefitting all four theoretical pillars society, culture, economy and environment alike, economy was identified as major beneficiary of the green shift. Thus, the Norwegian sustainable development is not to the same degree sustainable and just for everyone. Indigenous environmental activism is herein acting as a disturbing factor – in a positive way. This is, as it points out the weaknesses of the current discourse. This thesis outlines that what is called sustainable development and green energy by the global community, is phrased quite differently by affected indigenous communities and environmental activists.


Article
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The importance of social capital for agricultural and rural development is explored in this paper through the analysis of seven comprehensive case studies that have been carried out in the framework of the European RETHINK research programme. The case studies are based on rather different initiatives at the interface between agricultural and rural development in Germany, Spain, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark and Israel. The case studies represent a broad spectrum of socio‐economic and agricultural contexts and focus on the role of social capital for development. We explore how social capital materialises in the context of rural areas, and what nuances it acquires in different rural environments. The case studies are used to better understand, and to illustrate, different expressions of social capital in different situations. Within the broad notion of social capital, we pay particular attention to trust, cooperation, sense of community, and culture and tradition. All four dimensions play a critical role in agricultural and rural development as they affect how people relate to each other, organise themselves and interact for development. Sociologia Ruralis. DOI: 10.1111/soru.12218


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In Norway, immigration and tourism have recently become important drivers of diversity in rural communities. While rural migration mostly has been studied from the migrants’ perspective, this paper examines how long‐term residents in a Norwegian rural mountain resort characterised by seasonal tourism and labour immigration experience the flux of diverse migrants and how this affects them and the local community. The paper is based on 12 interviews with men and women who are long‐term community residents. A major narrative of the locals is that of the village and its inhabitants as accustomed to mobility, a local knowledge acquired through decades of tourism and in‐migration. But there are also narratives of ambivalence and contradictions and of the place as saturated by mobilities. The paper explores how locals adjust to and avoid these mobilities. Sociologia Ruralis. 10.1111/soru.12263


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The rise of organic chemistry in the 1800s quickly lead to the realisation that products previously derived from plants and animals could be derived synthetically from alternative organic sources. Although it slowly became clear that there were limitations to this technology, the goal of producing animal protein synthetically has remained a tantalising prospect for scientists, with new hopes being rekindled throughout the years as new knowledge emerged or technologies developed. The demonstration of synthetic meat (also termed in vitro meat) in 2013 revived this dream and, with the refinement of protein synthesis technologies, 31 start-ups are now working to become the first company to market synthetic animal protein. The potentially transformative nature of this technology make it essential to understand its potential to disrupt conventional agriculture at an early stage. This paper addresses this issue by examining historical substitutions that have lead to the decline or even decimation of agricultural industries, namely: alizarin (madder), indigotin (indigo) and vanillin (vanilla). Following an outlining of the historical cases themselves, it identifies substitution product complexity, ease of synthesis, compatibility with industrial processes, and contamination of the natural product as four key issues that affect the substitution transition. Analysis of the specific synthetic animal protein case suggests that, while there are many additional issues that could affect any transition, three aspects are key: development of transferrable technologies in the medical sector, potential environmental advantages, and a lack of consumer resistance to its “unnatural” nature. Finally, the paper argues that rather than a complete substitution (e.g. alizarin & indigo) a furcated market (e.g. vanillin) with various classes of protein production is likely to emerge – within which industrial livestock production will struggle to compete against cheap synthetic alternatives. Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 68, Pages 33-45


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Purpose: Demonstration farming has been an important part of agricultural extension since the first decades of the twentieth century. While Seaman Knapp is often credited with developing demonstration farming, his son acknowledged that the concept has much earlier origins in the nineteenth century development of model/pattern farms. However, little is known of these early origins or why early demonstration agriculture failed. This paper addresses this gap. Design/methodology/approach: The methodology involves analysis of out of copy-right historical journal articles, letters, pamphlets, and books recently made available by online services such as Google Books. Findings: The study details how the concept of demonstration farming was developed by agricultural societies of the eighteenth century but was not implemented until the early nineteenth century with the advent of model/pattern farms. Demonstration activities were run by a variety of different types of private and public farm organisations who sought to improve agriculture through emulation. Enthusiasm for model farms died out by the end of the nineteenth century but the failure of model farm demonstration leaves us with lessons for demonstration farming today. Theoretical implications: The study provides new knowledge on the conceptual and historical development of demonstration farming and why it failed to influence change. Practical implications: The study identifies factors that might contribute to the failure of demonstration activities. Originality/value: This is the first study to explore in detail demonstration farming on nineteenth century model farms and, methodologically, outlines how free on-line digitised literature can be used to investigate early agricultural education activities. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, https://doi.org/10.1080/1389224X.2019.1674168


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This article discusses the economic dimensions of agroecological farming systems in Europe. It firstly theoretically elaborates the reasons why, and under what conditions, agroecological farming systems have the potential to produce higher incomes than farms that follow the conventional logic. This theoretical exposition is then followed by a presentation of empirical material from a wide range of European countries that shows the extent to which this potential is being realized. The empirical data draw upon different styles of farming that can be described as ‘proto-agroecological’: approaches to farming that are agroecological by nature, but which may not necessarily explicitly define themselves as agroecological. The empirical material that we present shows the huge potential and radical opportunities that Europe's, often silent, ‘agroecological turn’ offers to farmers that could (and should) be the basis for the future transformation of European agricultural policies, since agroecology not only allows for more sustainable production of healthier food but also considerably improves farmers' incomes. It equally carries the promise of re-enlarging productive agricultural (and related) employment and increasing the total income generated by the agricultural sector, at both regional and national levels. While we recognise that agroecology is a worldwide and multidimensional phenomenon we have chosen to limit this analysis to Europe and the economic dimension. This choice is made in order to refute current discourses that represent agroecology as unproductive and unprofitable and an option that would require massive subsidies. Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 71, Pages 46-61


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Meeting targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture will require the implementation of effective mitigation measures. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently recognised that to succeed we need to understand more about the conditions within which mitigation measures are applied, and for this, they note, we need insights from social science disciplines including sociology. We addressed this knowledge gap by using the concept of path‐dependency and lock‐in to explore barriers to change in dairy/beef systems in Norway. A qualitative survey of 29 farms found that changing parenting, recreational and spousal role expectations are driving farmers towards intensification (and thus higher emissions) in order to purchase milking robots, which, in turn, provide increased time for the expected role changes. Structural change is thus predominantly directed towards farm continuity which is making it increasingly difficult to meet mitigation targets in the future. The study illustrates how mitigation measures might be made more effective by understanding and addressing the broader cultural/structural environment within which farmers and their families operate. Sociologia Ruralis, https://doi.org/10.1111/soru.12277


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Successful integration of immigrants is vital for rural areas facing population decline and labour shortage. Yet little is known about the role civil society plays in this process and about the factors that promote or hamper acceptance of immigrants by the local population. By using data from a national survey of the Norwegian population, this article examines rural‐urban differences in attitudes toward immigrants and immigration, and what characteristics rural and urban residents consider important for immigrants who may settle in their locality. The results indicate that people living in rural areas express more negative attitudes toward immigrants and immigration compared to people living in urban areas. Additionally, rural residents place greater importance than their urban counterparts do on immigrants’ participating in local events, speaking the native language, and being willing to adapt to Norwegian values. Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 59, Issue 4


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sues of land distribution and ownership matter in an industrialized and post-industrial world. In rural areas, land is still the livelihood of a large portion of the people and thus central to the viability of local communities. Land ownership is also central to national politics through issues of self-sufficiency, food sovereignty and recourse management. This study applies a historical approach combined with system dynamics modeling to the case of Norwegian odelsrett between 1814 and 2014. The odelsrett is a familial right of redemption regarding landed, agricultural property, which has roots going back more than a millennium in Norway. The aim of this study is to identify the impact of the odelsrett on the distribution of land ownership in Norway as a case. The results indicate that the odelsrett in Norway helped to increase wider distribution of land amongst the agricultural population only with the help of external historical events. We furthermore demonstrate how land ownership is an exclusive right, and how the legal system of which the odelsrett is part is designed to and operates to reproduce this right. Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 72, Pages 11-22


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Agriculture is a hazardous industry, with a high frequency of injuries. As working life has changed over the last decades, so has also agriculture. In Norway, farm size has increased, and agriculture has become technology intensive with a high amount of automated milking systems (AMS) and is now more dependent on hired help. The aim of the study is by sociotechnical system theory to explore how a new generation of farmers describe their work organisation in relation to occupational health and safety. The study is an explorative interview study at five farms having implemented AMS. An open interview guide was used. The interviews were recorded and thereafter transcribed. Analyses were based on the balance-theory with the domains technology, organisation, physical environment, task design, and individual characteristics. The results show that AMS changes the farm as a sociotechnical work system. AMS is considered a relief with regards how tasks become less physically demanding, less time consuming, and with less animal contact. On the other hand, cognitive demands increase. The results indicate that the technology increases both complexity and vulnerability, these factors being less considered by the farmers. The findings underline the importance of farmers’ increasing awareness of their role as a manager and for an increased system perspective. Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018). IEA 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 825.


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In this article, the aim is to explore how social aspects of the adoption and expansion of milking robots in Norwegian dairy farming are related to the political and structural changes in the sector. To explore the relationship between the implementation of automated milking systems (AMS) and structural developments, we used a qualitative methodology building on data from interviews with farmers, policy documents, statistics, and secondary literature. The structural change in the Norwegian dairy sector was substantial between 2000 and 2018. The average number of cows on each farm increased from 14.4 to 27.9, while the number of farms decreased from around 21,000 to less than 9,000. More than 47 percent of the milk produced in Norway now comes from a dairy farm with an AMS, and this percentage is rapidly increasing. We argue that the structural developments in milk production in Norway are neither politically nor economically driven, but are mainly an unintended consequence of farmers’ aggregated investments in AMS – which are supposed to increase farmers’ everyday quality of life – and reluctant regulatory changes to make investments in AMS structurally and economically viable. NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, Volumes 90–91


Report
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The regional division of labor has been a key element of Norwegian agriculture since the post-war period. Through various agricultural policy instruments under the collective term channeling policy, grain production has been prioritized in the best agricultural areas. Animal husbandry and forage production were therefore gradually pushed out into valleys and areas that for various agronomic, topographic and environmental reasons are not suitable for grain production. Until about 1990, this policy was implemented by adjusting the price ratio of cereals and milk, but due to international approaches and a desire to reduce the cost of agriculture in the 1990s, other instruments were put in place. This report deals with developments in the regional division of labor since 1990 and finds that despite changes in policy instruments and some regional redistribution, it can be said to be relatively stable.


  • Gordon Marcus Haring
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This report is part of the Coolcrowd research project, funded by the Research Council of Norway, and has the goal to assess the potential for a local crowdfunding program that enables Norwegian farmers to install climate change mitigation technologies on their farms and the public to invest in local climate mitigation measures. A secondary project objective is to develop alternative business models for a locally crowdfunded climate program. This report aims to contribute to this objective by mapping the business model experimentation process from May 2016 to July 2019. The project was executed in an international research consortium consisting of partners in Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia. The report also provides an overview of the business model designs that were developed by the research team.


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Med utgangspunkt i intervjuer med 24 naturbaserte reiselivsaktører i tre ulike regioner i Norge analyserer denne rapporten motiver, nettverk og innovasjon i slike bedrifter. Datainnsamlingen ble gjort i perioden våren 2017 til våren 2018, og inngikk i det tverrfaglige forskningsprosjektet Biotour. De fleste bedriftene var små, relativt nystartete og baserte seg på å tilby unike naturbaserte opplevelser. Tolkning av intervjudataene viser at det å gjøre en naturbasert livsstil om til et økonomisk bærekraftig produkt var et viktig motiv for etablering av bedriftene. Bedriftene er nyskapende, og nettverk er viktig både for utvikling og daglig drift.


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This report presents a main deliverable of work package 3 in the Coolcrowd project, an international research project funded by the Research Council of Norway. The aim of the project is to develop a crowdfunding program that would enable travelers to offset their GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions locally by supporting Norwegian farmers who want to adopt more climate friendly practices. The main objective of WP3 is to identify farmers’ interest in participating in a locally crowdfunded climate program. The report analyzes the findings of a national survey investigating farmers’ interest in climate change, particularly mitigation and a local crowdfunding program.


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Denne rapporten undersøker hvordan befolkningen i Rana-regionen, med kommunene Rana, Hemnes, Lurøy og Nesna, opplever samhandling og tjenesteyting i regionen. Rana-regionen har siden 2014 deltatt i Byregionprogrammet for å øke samspillet mellom by og omland, samt for å styrke regional vekstkraft og attraktivitet gjennom felles tiltak innen næringsutvikling og omdømmebygging. Vi har undersøkt hvordan regionens befolkning benytter regionssenteret og omlandet, hvordan ansatte på ulike nivåer i kommunen vurderer og jobber med samhandling og interkommunale samarbeid, samt hvordan næringslivet og regionens næringsfora vurderer hva som er hensiktsmessig å jobbe med fremover. På bakgrunn av dette diskuterer vi hva som kan være hensiktsmessig, fremtidig samhandling innenfor regionen.


  • Rob Burton
  • Constanza Parra
  • Inger Birkeland
  • Katrina Siivonen
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Long overshadowed by more utilitarian and economically-centred methodological approaches to sustainable development, the relationship between culture and sustainability can be considered an under-studied aspect within the sustainability and more recently resilience literature. The use of the term 'culture' in multiple contexts has generated a variety of interrelated meanings and definitions. Pretty and Pilgrim identify four bridges connecting nature and culture which provide a useful framework for understanding the interaction between culture and sustainability. The uses of the word culture nowadays denote in many cases a relation to social progress or development. Different cultures value nature in different ways and thus have different connection with their natural environments. Norms and institutions emerge from the different values, practices and knowledge types mediating the nature—culture interface. The nature—culture interface is socially embedded in a dynamic multi-scalar system of socio-political and cultural relationships. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book. I Birkeland, I., Burton, R.J.F., Para, C., og Siivonen, K. Cultural Sustainability and the Nature-Culture Interface: Livelihoods, policies, and methodologies, s. 1-17. London: Taylor & Francis