Former CHANS Fellows create framework to study farmer decision-making

April 2, 2015

By comparing and reflecting on their previous research, five former CHANS fellows from the class of 2012 have developed an analytic framework that other scholars can use when designing future interdisciplinary studies on farmer decision-making.

“All five of us had studied farmer decision-making in the past,” said Giuseppe Feola, the corresponding author and a member of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. “The idea for the paper grew out of a workshop we attended as CHANS Fellows at the 2102 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.”

farmerOther authors are Amy Lerner, of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; Meha Jain, of the Department of Environmental Earth Systems Science at Stanford University; Marvin Montefrio, of the Political Science Department of De La Salle University in the Philippines; and Kimberly Nicholas, of the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies in Sweden.

The scientists found that an interdisciplinary approach that included three knowledge areas was necessary to understand farmer behavior. The areas are decision-making model, cross-scale and cross-level pressures, and temporal dynamics.

“As we were reviewing the literature, we realized that no one had looked at all three of these areas in one study,” Feola explained. “The framework facilitates interdisciplinary research on farmer behavior by opening up spaces of structured dialogue on assumptions, research questions and methods employed in investigation.”

Researching farmer behavior in climate change adaption and sustainable agriculture: lessons learned from five case studies,” is published in volume 39 of the Journal of Rural Studies.