Transition Pathways of Agroecological Innovation in Portugal’s Douro Wine Region. A Multi-Level Perspective | Land Portal

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March 2021
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© 2021 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

The Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) is an analytical framework developed to explain transitions towards sustainability. This article aims to contribute to enhancing the use of the MLP to understand the transitions towards sustainability in agriculture. We propose that MLP is an insightful framework to capture particular micro-level trajectories of adopting innovations. The Douro wine region in Northern Portugal, known worldwide for the wines that are produced there, was the study area of our empirical research. This region has become the stage for developing a complex agroecological innovation, the Ecological Infrastructures (EIs). These consist of a combination of techniques that aim to expand the ecosystem services of the vineyards. The uniqueness of its development at the farm level originates a multiplicity of innovation trajectories, which are the focus of this study. Content analysis of 20 interviews with winegrowers was performed, and the results were analysed through the MLP framework. This allowed us to conclude that a process of transition towards the sustainability of region-level winegrowing is underway, and that it can be explained by the overlapping of different paths of adopting innovation. Our research shows that in-depth analysis of qualitative data, done through content analysis, can be used to amplify the insightfulness of MLP by enabling it to uncover the microscale transition pathways that shape uneven region-level transitions.

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Polita, Fabíola S.
Madureira, Lívia


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