The resilience of Finnish farms : Exploring the interplay between agency and structure
Kuhmonen, I. (2020). The resilience of Finnish farms : Exploring the interplay between agency and structure. Journal of Rural Studies, 80, 360-371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.10.012
Published inJournal of Rural Studies
DisciplineBasic or discovery scholarshipSustainable BusinessKestävä liiketoiminta ja talous (painoala)Yritysten ympäristöjohtaminenBasic or discovery scholarshipSustainable BusinessSustainable Business and Economy (focus area)Corporate Environmental Management
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Resilience implies, in its essence, the capacity of a system to tolerate disturbances while retaining its essential functions. In the context of agriculture, resilience thinking calls for considering the ability of farms to thrive in turbulent times along with the ability of the ecological system – in which the agricultural production is embedded – to retain its function and integrity. Resilience is a relevant conceptual tool to analyse the contradictory management demands that farms are facing within the current neoliberal market regime: being economically viable and environmentally sustainable. In this study, the resilience of farms was operationalised through farmers' perceptions concerning their farms' development trajectories in these two dimensions. The operationalisation strategy applied to farm survey data from Finland suggested that the majority of Finnish farms were vulnerable in either or both of these dimensions. The resilient farms were characterised by large size, development orientation, possession of social capital and adoption of targeted agri-environmental measures. The agrifood system was characterised by increasing level of centralisation and connectedness affecting all systemic levels, including the farm systems. Resilience can be seen as a manifestation of a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle, in which both the farm structure and the farmer's agency are well aligned with the contemporary context, whereas vulnerability is the result of a similar, but vicious cycle. ...
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- Kauppakorkeakoulu 
Additional information about fundingThis research was financially supported by the Kyösti Haataja Foundation (grant number 201410043) and Finnish Cultural Foundation (Central Finland Regional Fund; grant number 30141733), which is gratefully acknowledged
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