Conditions for just sustainability transitions within agrifood systems: comparative approaches


Claire Lamine, INRA Avignon, France

Marta Rivera Ferre, University of Vic, Catalogna, Spain

Simona D’Amico, University of Pisa, Italy



This working group starts from the idea that it is necessary, in order to provide new insights on sustainability transitions, first to consider in a more encompassing way the diversity of stakeholders and initiatives involved in agrifood systems (and not only producers and consumers), and second to consider the necessary reconnection between agriculture, food and the environment (and not just between two of these terms as is often the case). Transitions towards more sustainable and more ecological agrifood systems deserve both analytical and action-oriented approaches that allow us to assess the interdependencies between the different components and actors of the agrifood systems and to identify the conditions for these interdependencies to become more ecologically sustainable but also more socially just and fair. In this working group, based on the collective work already started within our RSG and on possible new contributions, we intend to discuss key issues for such “just sustainability transitions” within agrifood systems, such as the possible redefinition of power relationships, the conditions for social justice and fair participation, but also the strength of the narratives that impede just transitions or the controversies between different visions of sustainability transitions. The papers submitted to this working group should not only present one case study but develop original theoretical and possibly action-oriented approaches and discuss their ability to address the conditions for “just sustainability transitions”, based on a comparison of different situations anchored in different European countries.


This working group is based on the ESRS Research and Study Group “Holistic and pragmatic approaches to sustainable agrifood systems” ( and aims at including other researchers in this group’s discussions. Papers have to be comparative and authors might be involved in the future activities. A special issue has been elaborated by the RSG, and the objective of the ESRS congress sessions is both to discuss already drafted members’ papers and to include a few more papers and authors. Full papers (drafts) will be sent one month before the congress and each paper will have a reviewer and receive detailed comments.