Agroecology: A Transdisciplinary, Participatory and Action-Oriented Approach is the first book to focus on agroecology as a transdisciplinary, participatory, and action-oriented process. Using a combined theoretical and practical approach, this collection of work from pioneers in the subject along with the latest generation of acknowledged leaders engages social actors on different geo-political scales to transform the global agrifood system.
The book is divided into two sections, with the first providing conceptual bases and the second presenting case studies. It describes concepts and applications of transdisciplinary research and participatory action research (PAR). Transdisciplinary research integrates different academic disciplines as well as diverse forms of knowledge, including experiential, cultural, and spiritual. Participatory action research presents a way of engaging all relevant actors in an effort to create an equitable process of research, reflection, and activity to make desired changes. Six case studies show how practitioners have grappled with applying this integration in agroecological work within different geographic and socio-ecological contexts.
An explicit and critical discussion of diverse perspectives in the growing field of agroecology, this book covers the conceptual and empirical material of an agroecological approach that aspires to be more transdisciplinary, participatory, and action-oriented. In addition to illustrating systems of agroecology that will improve food systems around the world, it lays the groundwork for further innovations to create better sustainability for all people, ecologies, and landscapes.
Introduction: Agroecology as a Transdisciplinary, Participatory, and Action-oriented Approach
V. Ernesto Méndez, Christopher M. Bacon, and Roseann Cohen
Agroecology: Roots of Resistance to Industrialized Food Systems
Stephen R. Gliessman
Transformative Agroecology: Foundations in Agricultural Practice, Agrarian Social Thought, and Sociological Theory
Graham Woodgate and Eduardo Sevilla Guzmán
Political Agroecology: An Essential Tool to Promote Agrarian Sustainability
Manuel González de Molina
Learning Agroecology through Involvement and Reflection
Charles Francis, Edvin Østergaard, Anna Marie Nicolaysen, Geir Lieblein, Tor Arvid Breland, and Suzanne Morse
Complexity in Tradition and Science: Intersecting Theoretical Frameworks in Agroecological Research
John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto
Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and the New Green Revolution
Eric Holt-Giménez and Miguel A. Altieri
The Intercultural Origin of Agroecology: Contributions from Mexico
Francisco J. Rosado-May
Participatory Action Research for an Agroecological Transition in Spain: Building Local Organic Food Networks
Gloria I. Guzmán, Daniel López, Lara Román, and Antonio M. Alonso
Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and Urban Agriculture in the United States
Margarita Fernandez, V. Ernesto Méndez, Teresa Mares, and Rachel Schattman
On the Ground: Putting Agroecology to Work through Applied Research and Extension in Vermont
Debra Heleba, Vern Grubinger, and Heather Darby
Agroecology as a Food Security and Sovereignty Strategy in Coffee-Growing Communities: Opportunities and Challenges in San Ramon, Nicaragua
Heather Putnam, Roseann Cohen, and Roberta M. Jaffe
The Mesoamerican Agroenvironmental Program: Critical Lessons Learned from an Integrated Approach to Achieve Sustainable Land Management
Isabel A. Gutiérrez-Montes and Felicia Ramírez Aguero
Analysis of Tropical Home Gardens through an Agroecology and Anthropological Ecology Perspective
V. Ernesto Méndez, PhD, is an associate professor of agroecology and environmental studies at the University of Vermont, where he leads the Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group, a community of practice that studies and contributes to developing practical solutions to key issues in our current agrifood system. He earned his PhD in agroecology and environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. His empirical work is mostly with smallholder coffee farmers and cooperatives in Mesoamerica as well as a variety of growers in Vermont. His research uses agroecology as a transdisciplinary, participatory, and action-oriented approach, focusing on the interactions among agriculture, food, farmer livelihoods, and environment. Most of his work utilizes a participatory action research (PAR) approach to directly support agroecological practice and farmer livelihoods.
Christopher M. Bacon, PhD, is an assistant professor with the Department of Environmental Studies at Santa Clara University, California. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua, he completed a PhD in environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His primary research involves smallholders, cooperatives, and food security in the context of market and climatic change in northern Nicaragua, examining the political ecology of conventional and alternative food systems and their impacts on rural development and change. His second line of research focuses on environmental and food justice in California, and his previous work has been published in Global Environmental Change, the Journal of Peasant Studies, Ecology and Society, and World Development.
Roseann Cohen is the executive director for the Community Agroecology Network in Santa Cruz, California, a nonprofit committed to sustaining rural livelihoods and landscapes in the global south through the integration of collaborative research, agroecological capacity-building, and locally informed development strategies. She holds a PhD from the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a specialization in Latin American and Latino studies. Her research focuses on the sociocultural significance of farmers’ relationship to their crops and land as well as the impacts of insecure land tenure, forced migration, and violence on farming communities.
Stephen R. Gliessman holds graduate degrees in botany, biology, and plant ecology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has more than 40 years of teaching, research, and production experience in the field of agroecology. He was the founding director of the agroecology program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, one of the first formal agroecology programs in the world. He is also the cofounder of the nonprofit Community Agroecology Network, Santa Cruz, California, and currently serves as president of its board of directors. His textbook Agroecology: The Ecology of Sustainable Food Systems is in its third edition and has been translated into many languages, and he is the editor of the international journal Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.