1 According to Haverkort et al (1991), problematic impacts of paternalism include blinding people to the need for solving their own problems, accustomizing them to expect give-aways, and destroying the possibility of multiplier effects.
2 Supporting this observation, MacRae et al (1990) suggest that in the absence of explicit political objectives to promote organic agriculture, there is a form of institutional inertia whereby decision-makers tend to postpone action until there is either overwhelming scientific data to support it or overwhelming negative effects of the prolonged inaction.
3 Hill (1991) links the development of sustainable agriculture with psychological prerequisites, arguing that distressed human states, such as a fear of losing control or of not having enough, result in 'the stubborn adherence to production systems that are progressively proving to be unsustainable'.
4 Röling (2005, p100) identifies this phenomenon as a lack of 'The ability to note discrepancy, to adapt the reality world, to feedback.' Based on the constructivist perspective of reality, he explains: 'We can build a cosy coherent reality world, in which our values, theories, perceptions and actions are mutually consistent. But this reality world can become divorced from its domain of existence; for example, it can fail to correspond to ecological imperatives.'
5 A simple pressure exerted from the environment may induce a simple change in action. However, if the problem is more dramatic, then deeper-held theories and beliefs may need to be reflected upon and revised. This more fundamental change has been termed double loop learning, as a single cycle of learning and action did not effect the change required to deal with the situation (Argyris and Schön, 1996). Even more extreme change occurs through triple loop learning, whereby essential principles upon which beliefs and institutions are based come under discussion, and this occurs over a longer time period. Triple loop learning may entail an ideological change to a more adaptive management approach (Holling, 1995).
Was this article helpful?