A fuzzy cognitive mapping approach for the assessment of public-goods governance in agricultural landscapes - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Land Use Policy Year : 2021

A fuzzy cognitive mapping approach for the assessment of public-goods governance in agricultural landscapes


In Europe, growing concerns about the environmental impacts of agriculture have stimulated the development of more efficient governance options to be included in, or to complement, current agri-environmental policies. However, a significant hurdle for the implementation of enhanced policy tools is the difficult adaptation of promising approaches, such as collective contracts and private-based payments for environmental services, to the locally specific, socio-economic and institutional contexts of different European regions. In this study, we apply a participatory approach based on the Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping technique, in assessing different policy mechanisms, including improved monetary incentives and the potential for an enhanced design of agricultural landscape governance. Our analysis specifically assesses the interactions between rural society, public goods and policies under different, locally relevant economic and social scenarios. The study is carried out in the Marchfeld, an intensive agriculture case-study area in Eastern Austria, which features a number of environmental problems. The work is based on a two-year-long process including focus groups, mind mapping and scenario co-development, as well as individual interviews with local stakeholders. The results show that integrating private or public, collective or performance-orientated monetary incentives with other non-monetary mechanisms like farmers’ partnerships or enhanced awareness building are evaluated as central to an effective agri-environmental governance system. Moreover, the results highlight that different futures have major effects on the effectiveness of mechanisms: in a purely market-driven context, tools based on collaborations among farmers are likely to be ineffective and monetary incentives are less efficient. On the other hand, positive social pressures and the influence of non-monetary governance initiatives expected in a sustainability-driven scenario are able to catalyse an efficient adoption of environmental-friendly practices, also at lower monetary rates. Based on the results, we discuss the problem of public goods in agricultural landscapes, and the relevance of such ancillary factors as social infrastructure, awareness and marketing, in supporting the effectiveness and feasibility of public-goods ‘governance’.
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Dates and versions

hal-02619837 , version 1 (07-08-2023)




Stefano Targetti, Lena Schaller, Jochen Kantelhardt. A fuzzy cognitive mapping approach for the assessment of public-goods governance in agricultural landscapes. Land Use Policy, 2021, 107, 17 p. ⟨10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.04.033⟩. ⟨hal-02619837⟩
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