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Stitching the patchwork : An examination of agri-environmental policy network in England

Rebane-Mortimer, Diana Jean; (1998) Stitching the patchwork : An examination of agri-environmental policy network in England. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The Agri-environmental Regulation, part of the 1992 CAP reform package, led to the (re)introduction of a number of agri-environmental schemes in the UK. These seek to counter some of the negative impacts that 'productivist' policies have made on the countryside in the post-war period. Although the Regulation is viewed as marginal to core agricultural policies by traditional interests, it represents an important policy shift towards the recognition of the complexity of the contemporary rural economy and the value placed on environmental goods by an urbanised society. A general move away from the development and implementation of public policies based on 'control and command' philosophies towards more open, consultative approaches has altered the mechanisms through which policy is designed and implemented. This study of the agri-environmental schemes in England examines the changing roles of individuals and organisations within the policy process, revealing a process that evolves through a policy network where actors interact and exchange resources rather than through a logical sequence of events. It also shows that the process of evaluation does not necessarily rest with an 'elite' group of actors but to a greater or lesser degree all actors feed into this process. The problems associated with evaluating non-quantifiable benefits from environmental goods have required actors to use their own judgements and beliefs to appraise policy outcomes. The potential effects of these issues on policy formation are discussed and assessed. Through interviews with farmers, their advisers, key officials in conservation and agricultural NGOs, and representatives of government statutory advisers and departments in England, a snapshot of the network organised around these schemes is described. It reveals how the policy process involves an extensive system of linkages and relationships between actors through which policy is constantly being refined.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Stitching the patchwork : An examination of agri-environmental policy network in England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Biological sciences; Agri-environmental policy network
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099923
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