Systems practice: making the systems in farming systems research effective

Ison, Ray (2012). Systems practice: making the systems in farming systems research effective. In: Darnhofer, Ika; Gibbon, David and Dedieu, Benoit eds. Farming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 141–158.



The purpose of this chapter is to explore and unpack three issues with significant practical implications that have bedeviled the understandings and practices of those who concern themselves with FSR (Farming Systems Research)or might do so in the future. The first issue is R&D practice itself – what do we do when we do R&D… or any form of practice for that matter? Secondly what constitutes systems practice’ and where does the concept ‘system’ fit in this practice? Finally, what might be involved in institutionalising systems practice as a key ingredient of systemic and adaptive governance, is explored. It is argued that at this moment in human history we need to abandon old frames and engage with re-framings that give rise to practices that are better suited to our circumstances. Only by doing this is there some prospect of making the systems’ part of the historical framing of FSR a hope for the future rather than a relic of the past.

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