WP3: Wider path dependencies – incorporating other sectors

WP 3 will extend the work from WP 1 into the “communities of interest” based around the beef/dairy value chain. The research will focus on 3 key areas, namely, upstream industries (e.g. veterinary services, machinery suppliers, feed companies) that are responsible for supplying the farming community, downstream industries (e.g. supermarkets, transport firms) and consumers themselves. The individual industries in the upstream and downstream sectors to be investigated will be determined in the interviews in WP 1.

The process of gathering data from these sectors will involve conducting a number of dialogue meetings with key stakeholders and decision-makers in these industries (i.e. managers, private advisors, technicians). As Dankert (2012) observes that in ANT only actors that ‘leave traces’ in the network should be included the actual number of interviews conducted and the sources of these interviews will be determined by the outcome of WP 1. In the case of consumers,
any direct links with farming will be explored. We anticipate the connections and lock-in issues with consumers will emerge form interviews with supermarkets and other retailers and organised consumer initiatives. Here we will follow the same methodological format used in WP 1 but adapt the process as necessary to deal with industry/stakeholder specific issues.

The second part of this WP will involve conceptual work putting all of the path dependencies together to (a) produce an overall assessment of the path dependency within this community of interest, (b) identify key areas of lock-in where policy may contribute to initiating change to a lower carbon system, and (c) explore possible positive and negative external effects of removing lock-in (e.g. economic, social and environmental). Again, following the principles of ANT, we will explore “the network of associations between the diverse material and non-material elements” (Jørgensen et al., 2009) across the entire value chain. The result will be a conceptual model of the linkages and lock-ins within the community that will advise WPs 4,5 and 6. WP3 will be responsible for coordinating a joint publication on lock-in across all the work packages.

Maja Farstad

Maja Farstad

Manager and WP Leader, CRR