Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Endogenous regime change : Lessons from transition pathways in Dutch dairy farming
    Runhaar, Hens ; Fünfschilling, Lea ; Pol-Van Dasselaar, Agnes van den; Moors, Ellen H.M. ; Temmink, Rani ; Hekkert, Marko - \ 2020
    Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 36 (2020). - ISSN 2210-4224 - p. 137 - 150.
    Governance - Grazing - Institutional logics - Productivist agriculture - The Netherlands - Transformation

    Sustainability transitions are commonly considered impossible without regime change. Theoretical work on regime change has mainly focused on niches and landscapes and less on change ‘from within’. Empirical analysis helps theorising endogenous regime change. Conceptualising regimes as semi-coherent entities composed of multiple ‘institutional logics’, we analyse the endogenous regime change in Dutch dairy farming. Practices in this sector have become more and more market-driven. This dominant logic however was increasingly challenged by institutional logics centring round cultural identity and sustainability. Tensions particularly centred round the increased indoor housing of cows. The contestation of this practice eventually led to a first ‘crack’ in the regime, as it weakened the dominance of the market logic and enabled opportunities for more sustainability. Our case study shows that the presence of alternative institutional logics is necessary to crack the regime, but opportunities to patch it back together are similarly crucial to enable sustainability transitions.

    Institutionalising reflexivity? Transformative learning and the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
    Borie, Maud ; Gustafsson, Karin M. ; Obermeister, Noam ; Turnhout, Esther ; Bridgewater, Peter - \ 2020
    Environmental Science & Policy 110 (2020). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 71 - 76.
    IPBES - Learning - Reflexivity - Science-policy interface - Transformation

    In the wake of controversies surrounding both the legitimacy and effectiveness of intergovernmental expert organisations, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was established in 2012 as a new intergovernmental expert organisation with the explicit mandate to move beyond ‘one-size-fits-it-all’ approaches. During its first eight years of operating, this attempt to ‘do different’ has made IPBES develop into a space for individual, experiential, and organisational learning and has made significant progress towards becoming a ‘learning organisation’. However, learning can take different forms. Looking towards the future development of IPBES, the importance of transformative learning and the need to establish institutional reflexive processes in which this transformative learning can take place will be critical. IPBES has a number of novel features, three key features facilitating transformative learning are its ambitious principles and inclusive approach to a wide range expertise and knowledges, its fellowship programme, and commitment to a transparent and on-going review process. While IPBES’ social organisation is significantly different from previous initiatives and has created opportunities for transformative learning, not all learning and all changes that have taken place have been reflexive and some innovative features also have had unintended consequences for the results of the learning activities. As a result, to live up to its ambitions of contributing to positive and transformative societal and environmental change, IPBES must strengthen its capacity for transformative learning. Some proposals on how to systemise it further are outlined.

    Operationalising transformative sustainability science through place-based research: the role of researchers
    Horlings, Lummina G. ; Nieto-Romero, Marta ; Pisters, Siri ; Soini, Katriina - \ 2020
    Sustainability Science 15 (2020). - ISSN 1862-4065 - p. 467 - 484.
    Engagement - Place-based research - Place-shaping - Roles of researchers - Sustainability - Transformation

    Among scholars in sustainability science, there is an increasing recognition of the potential of place-based research in the context of transformative change towards sustainability. In this research, researchers may have a variety of roles; these are determined by the researcher’s engagement with the subject, the inherent theoretical, normative and methodological choices he or she makes, the researcher’s ambitions in contributing to change, and ethical issues. This article explores the varied roles of research fellows within the European Marie Curie ITN research program on sustainable place-shaping (SUSPLACE). By analysing 15 SUSPLACE projects and reflecting on the roles of researchers identified by Wittmayer and Schäpke (Sustain Sci 9(4):483–496, 2014) we describe how the fellows’ theoretical positionality, methods applied, and engagement in places led to different research roles. The methodology used for the paper is based on an interactive process, co-producing knowledge with Early Stage Researchers (fellows) of the SUSPLACE consortium. The results show a range of place meanings applied by the fellows. Varied methods are used to give voice to participants in research and to bring them together for joint reflection on values, networks and understandings, co-creating knowledge. Multiple conceptualisations of ‘sustainability’ were used, reflecting different normative viewpoints. These choices and viewpoints resulted in fellows each engaging in multiple roles, exploring various routes of sustainable place-shaping, and influencing place-relations. Based on our findings we introduce a framework for the ‘embodied researcher’: a researcher who is engaged in research with their ‘brain, heart, hands and feet’ and who integrates different roles during the research process.

    Historical commons as sites of transformation. A critical research agenda to study human and more-than-human communities
    Nieto-Romero, Marta ; Valente, Sandra ; Figueiredo, Elisabete ; Parra, Constanza - \ 2019
    Geoforum 107 (2019). - ISSN 0016-7185 - p. 113 - 123.
    Commoning - Community - Institutions - More-than-human - Sustainability - Transformation

    The most critical question for sustainability research is how to facilitate transformative change. Yet, the academic scope of historical commons’ research is limited to institutional design and environmental sustainability. In this paper we argue for a transformative research agenda for historical commons focused on the study of processes building humans and more-than-human communities. We start by reviewing three commons schools, namely the mainstream and critical institutionalism and the community economies collective, and assess how these relate to sustainability and to theories on agency, community and change. We then define a research agenda taking a political and critical ontology of the community economies collective, and a phenomenological epistemology of critical institutionalism. We follow by characterising the underlying practices building humans and more-than human communities by showing three ideal stages of commoning found in our empirical cases in the north-western Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). Finally, we end by presenting a guiding framework for analysing processes of building communities in historical commons. In conclusion, we encourage further exploration of underlying practices that widen humans’ interdependency and inter-being and call for action-research projects and experimental methods that promote transformative encounters between humans and nature. Our framework is a first attempt to inspire researchers of historical commons to actively engage in unravelling the full potential of historical commons as sites of transformation.

    New directions in earth system governance research
    Burch, Sarah ; Gupta, A. ; Inoue, C. ; Kalfagianni, Agni ; Persson, Asa ; Gerlak, Andrea K. ; Ishii, Atsushi ; Patterson, James ; Pickering, Jonathan ; Scobie, M. ; Heijden, Jeroen van der; Vervoort, J. ; Adler, Carolina ; Bloomfield, Michael ; Djalante, Riyante ; Dryzek, John ; Galaz, Victor ; Gordon, Christopher ; Harmon, Renée ; Jinnah, Sikina ; Kim, Rakhyun E. ; Olsson, Lennart ; Leeuwen, J. van; Ramasar, Vasna ; Wapner, Paul ; Zondervan, R. - \ 2019
    Earth System Governance 1 (2019). - ISSN 2589-8116 - 18 p.
    Governance - Research networks - Earth system - Transformation
    The Earth System Governance project is a global research alliance that explores novel, effective governance mechanisms to cope with the current transitions in the biogeochemical systems of the planet. A decade after its inception, this article offers an overview of the project's new research framework (which is built upon a review of existing earth system governance research), the goal of which is to continue to stimulate a pluralistic, vibrant and relevant research community. This framework is composed of contextual conditions (transformations, inequality, Anthropocene and diversity), which capture what is being observed empirically, and five sets of research lenses (architecture and agency, democracy and power, justice and allocation, anticipation and imagination, and adaptiveness and reflexivity). Ultimately the goal is to guide and inspire the systematic study of how societies prepare for accelerated climate change and wider earth system change, as well as policy responses.
    Dancing on the volcano: Social exploration in times of discontent
    Carpenter, Stephen R. ; Folke, Carl ; Scheffer, Marten ; Westley, Frances R. - \ 2019
    Ecology and Society 24 (2019)1. - ISSN 1708-3087
    Anthropocene - Complex systems - Pathways - Resilience - Terror management theory - Transformation

    Radical recent developments such as Brexit, the rise of extreme nationalism, the gilets jaunes, polarizing leaders, the Arab Spring, and fundamentalist movements are indications of societal discontent with the status quo. Other societal phenomena such as gender fluidity, veganism, and bartering are also associated with a perceived need to change. The context is the Anthropocene, a human-dominated biosphere challenging the resilience of a livable planet. Such a broad set of developments may be interpreted in the light of new insights from theory of complex systems about what happens as resilience of the current pathway (societal organization as we know it) decreases. Rising fluctuations characterize a phase of uncertainty and exploration, potentially leading into a transition of the system toward a new pathway. We reflect on global changes that may contribute to social destabilization such as rising wealth concentration and environmental degradation and ask how responses may be understood from social-psychological forces such as the need for group identity and managing the terror of mortality. The emerging image is that of a society engaged in multifaceted experimentation. Maintaining such experimentation may help inspire novel pathways to desirable futures, but there is a risk of societies becoming trapped in backward-looking narratives that threaten long-term sustainable outcomes.

    Advancing the use of scenarios to understand society's capacity to achieve the 1.5 degree target
    Pedde, Simona ; Kok, Kasper ; Hölscher, Katharina ; Frantzeskaki, Niki ; Holman, Ian ; Dunford, Rob ; Smith, Alison ; Jäger, Jill - \ 2019
    Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 56 (2019). - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 75 - 85.
    1.5 degree target - Capacities - Capitals - Mitigation - SSP-RCP scenarios - Transformation

    With a range of potential pathways to a sustainable future compatible with the Paris Agreement 1.5 °C target, scenario analysis has emerged as a key tool in studies of climate change mitigation and adaptation. A wide range of alternative scenarios have been created, and core amongst these are five socio-economic scenarios (Shared Socio-economic Pathways or SSPs) and four emission scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways or RCPs). Whilst mitigation scenarios (the Shared Policy Assumptions, or SPAs) have been developed for each SSP-RCP combination, describing the actions necessary to match the climate pathway of the RCP, there has not yet been a systematic approach to address whether and how these actions can be enabled in practice. We present a novel and transferable framework to understand society's capacity to achieve the 1.5 °C target, based on four participatory case studies using the SSP-RCP scenarios. The methodology builds on a framework for categorising different types of societal capitals and capacities and assessing their impact on the potential to implement different types of mitigation actions. All four case studies show that SSP1 has the highest potential to reach the target. Although environmental awareness is high in both SSP1 and SSP4, continued social inequalities in SSP4 restrict society's capacity to transform, despite economic growth. In the two least environmentally-aware SSPs, SSP3 and SSP5, the transformation potential is low, but the view on capitals and capacities nonetheless helps identify opportunities for actors to develop and implement mitigation actions. The study highlights that techno-economic assessments of climate strategies need to be complemented by consideration of the critical role played by social and human capital, and by societal capacity to mobilise and create these capitals despite different socio-economic trends. These capitals and capacities are essential to enable the rapid innovation, behavioural change and international co-ordination needed to achieve the 1.5 °C target.

    Transition pathways to sustainability in greater than 2 °C climate futures of Europe
    Frantzeskaki, Niki ; Hölscher, Katharina ; Holman, Ian P. ; Pedde, Simona ; Jaeger, Jill ; Kok, Kasper ; Harrison, Paula A. - \ 2019
    Regional Environmental Change 19 (2019)3. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 777 - 789.
    Adaptation - Climate change - Mitigation - Pathways - Transformation - Transition management

    The complex challenges arising from climate change that exceeds the +2 °C target (termed ‘high-end climate change’) in Europe require new integrative responses to support transformations to a more sustainable future. We present a novel methodology that combines transition management and high-end climate and socioeconomic change scenarios to identify pathways and move Europe closer to sustainability. Eighteen pathways have been co-created with stakeholders through a participatory process. The pathways support Europe in moving towards a desirable future vision, through top-down and bottom-up actions that lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce impacts of and vulnerabilities to climate and socioeconomic changes and enhance well-being. Analysis shows that the pathways that are robust to future scenario uncertainty are those that shift Europe towards sustainable lifestyles, support and strengthen good governance for sustainability and promote adaptive resource management for water, agriculture and energy. The methodology can support the design of the urgent actions needed to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement and to transform Europe, in preparation for an uncertain future.

    Food systems for sustainable development : proposals for a profound four-part transformation
    Caron, Patrick ; Ferrero y de Loma-Osorio, Gabriel ; Nabarro, David ; Hainzelin, Etienne ; Guillou, Marion ; Andersen, Inger ; Arnold, Tom ; Astralaga, Margarita ; Beukeboom, Marcel ; Bickersteth, Sam ; Bwalya, Martin ; Caballero, Paula ; Campbell, Bruce M. ; Divine, Ntiokam ; Fan, Shenggen ; Frick, Martin ; Friis, Anette ; Gallagher, Martin ; Halkin, Jean Pierre ; Hanson, Craig ; Lasbennes, Florence ; Ribera, Teresa ; Rockstrom, Johan ; Schuepbach, Marlen ; Steer, Andrew ; Tutwiler, Ann ; Verburg, Gerda - \ 2018
    Agronomy for Sustainable Development 38 (2018)4. - ISSN 1774-0746
    Agriculture - Climate change - Food systems - Koronivia - Nexus - Sustainable development - Transformation

    Evidence shows the importance of food systems for sustainable development: they are at the nexus that links food security, nutrition, and human health, the viability of ecosystems, climate change, and social justice. However, agricultural policies tend to focus on food supply, and sometimes, on mechanisms to address negative externalities. We propose an alternative. Our starting point is that agriculture and food systems’ policies should be aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This calls for deep changes in comparison with the paradigms that prevailed when steering the agricultural change in the XXth century. We identify the comprehensive food systems transformation that is needed. It has four parts: first, food systems should enable all people to benefit from nutritious and healthy food. Second, they should reflect sustainable agricultural production and food value chains. Third, they should mitigate climate change and build resilience. Fourth, they should encourage a renaissance of rural territories. The implementation of the transformation relies on (i) suitable metrics to aid decision-making, (ii) synergy of policies through convergence of local and global priorities, and (iii) enhancement of development approaches that focus on territories. We build on the work of the “Milano Group,” an informal group of experts convened by the UN Secretary General in Milan in 2015. Backed by a literature review, what emerges is a strategic narrative linking climate, agriculture and food, and calling for a deep transformation of food systems at scale. This is critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. The narrative highlights the needed consistency between global actions for sustainable development and numerous local-level innovations. It emphasizes the challenge of designing differentiated paths for food systems transformation responding to local and national expectations. Scientific and operational challenges are associated with the alignment and arbitration of local action within the context of global priorities.

    Designing transformative spaces for sustainability in social-ecological systems
    Pereira, Laura M. ; Karpouzoglou, Timothy ; Frantzeskaki, Niki ; Olsson, Per - \ 2018
    Ecology and Society 23 (2018)4. - ISSN 1708-3087
    Global south - Sustainability - Transdisciplinary - Transformation - Transition

    Transformations toward sustainability have recently gained traction, triggered in part by a growing recognition of the dramatic socio-cultural, political, economic, and technological changes required to move societies toward more desirable futures in the Anthropocene. However, there is a dearth of literature that emphasizes the crucial aspects of sustainability transformations in the diverse contexts of the Global South. Contributors to this Special Feature aim to address this gap by weaving together a series of case studies that together form an important navigational tool on the “how to” as well as the “what” and the “where to” of sustainability transformations across diverse challenges, sectors, and geographies. They propose the term “transformative space” as a “safe-enough” collaborative process whereby actors invested in sustainability transformations can experiment with new mental models, ideas, and practices that can help shift social-ecological systems onto more desirable pathways. The authors also highlight the challenges posed to researchers as they become “transformative space-makers,” navigating the power dynamics inherent in these processes. Because researchers and practitioners alike are challenged to provide answers to complex and often ambiguous or incomplete questions around sustainability, the ideas, reflections and learning gathered in this Special Feature provide some guidance on new ways of engaging with the world.

    Learning for transformation of water governance : reflections on design from the climate change adaptation and water governance (CADWAGO) project
    Blackmore, Chris ; Bommel, Severine van; Bruin, Annemarieke de; Vries, Jasper de; Westberg, Lotten ; Powell, Neil ; Foster, Natalie ; Collins, Kevin ; Roggero, Pier Paolo ; Seddaiu, Giovanna - \ 2016
    Water 8 (2016)11. - ISSN 2073-4441
    CADWAGO - Design - Learning - Transformation - water governance
    This paper considers how learning for transformation of water governance in the context of climate change adaptation can be designed for and supported, drawing examples from the international climate change adaptation and water governance project (CADWAGO). The project explicitly set out to design for governance learning in the sense of developing elements of social infrastructure such as workshops, performances and online media to bring stakeholders together and to facilitate co-learning of relevance to governance. CADWAGO drew on a variety of international cases from past and ongoing work of the project partners. It created a forum for dialogue among actors from different contexts working at different levels and scales. The range of opportunities and constraints encountered are discussed, including the principles and practicalities of working with distributed processes of design and leadership of events. A range of concepts, tools and techniques were used to consider and facilitate individual and collective learning processes and outcomes associated with water governance in the context of climate adaptation. Questions were addressed about how elements of past, present and future water governance thinking and practice are connected and how multi-level systemic change in governance can take place. Some reflections on the effectiveness of the design for learning process are included. The nature of the contribution that projects such as CADWAGO can make in learning for transformation of water governance practices is also critically considered.
    RNA-sequencing of Cercospora beticola DMI-sensitive and -resistant isolates after treatment with tetraconazole identifies common and contrasting pathway induction
    Bolton, Melvin D. ; Ebert, Malaika K. ; Faino, Luigi ; Rivera-Varas, Viviana ; Jonge, Ronnie de; Peer, Yves Van de; Thomma, Bart P.H.J. ; Secor, Gary A. - \ 2016
    Fungal Genetics and Biology 92 (2016). - ISSN 1087-1845 - p. 1 - 13.
    Cell-membrane - EC - Ergosterol - RTA1 - Sterol demethylation inhibitor - Tetraconazole - Transformation

    Cercospora beticola causes Cercospora leaf spot of sugar beet. Cercospora leaf spot management measures often include application of the sterol demethylation inhibitor (DMI) class of fungicides. The reliance on DMIs and the consequent selection pressures imposed by their widespread use has led to the emergence of resistance in C. beticola populations. Insight into the molecular basis of tetraconazole resistance may lead to molecular tools to identify DMI-resistant strains for fungicide resistance management programs. Previous work has shown that expression of the gene encoding the DMI target enzyme (CYP51) is generally higher and inducible in DMI-resistant C. beticola field strains. In this study, we extended the molecular basis of DMI resistance in this pathosystem by profiling the transcriptional response of two C. beticola strains contrasting for resistance to tetraconazole. A majority of the genes in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway were induced to similar levels in both strains with the exception of CbCyp51, which was induced several-fold higher in the DMI-resistant strain. In contrast, a secondary metabolite gene cluster was induced in the resistance strain, but repressed in the sensitive strain. Genes encoding proteins with various cell membrane fortification processes were induced in the resistance strain. Site-directed and ectopic mutants of candidate DMI-resistance genes all resulted in significantly higher EC50 values than the wild-type strain, suggesting that the cell wall and/or membrane modified as a result of the transformation process increased resistance to tetraconazole. Taken together, this study identifies important cell membrane components and provides insight into the molecular events underlying DMI resistance in C. beticola.

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