Publications of Pierre M Stassart
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See detailEleveur autrement? Contribution d'une méthode audiovisuelle réflexive à l'explicitation d'un mode d'existence
Mathieu, Valérie ULiege; Stassart, Pierre M ULiege

in Eyraud, Corine; Lambert, Guy (Eds.) Filmer le Travail, Films et Travail (2009)

Ce papier se propose d’interroger le rôle que peut avoir un outil audiovisuel dans la production d’un mode d’existence particulier1. Dans notre démarche méthodologique, le chercheur n’est plus un ... [more ▼]

Ce papier se propose d’interroger le rôle que peut avoir un outil audiovisuel dans la production d’un mode d’existence particulier1. Dans notre démarche méthodologique, le chercheur n’est plus un observateur neutre et objectif , il est un apprenant qui, de la rencontre entre son expérience cognitive et l’expérience de vie des acteurs, cherchera comment tient une situation. Mais, plus précisément, comment le chercheur peut –il participer à l’émergence d’un groupe que l’on peut décrire comme se rendant capable d’expliciter ses intérêts sur un mode qui les constituerait éventuellement en affaire publique (Stengers, 2006) ? Cette question nous l’avons posée à travers la possibilité que nous avons entrevue de voir émerger un public (Dewey, 1927) autour de la question de l’élevage « pluri-actif » et du mode d’existence particulier des éleveurs pluri-actifs dans la région gaumaise (au sud de la Belgique). Ceux-ci exercent deux métiers à la fois : ils sont facteur, éducateur ou encore couvreur, et pratiquent l’élevage en plus, « après journée ». Ils nous intéressaient tout particulièrement car, bien que présents dans la région ils sont aussi bien effacés du discours de la profession agricole qu’absents des données statistiques produites par l’administration. [less ▲]

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See detailAgriculture Biologique et Verrouillage des Systèmes de connaissances. Conventionalisation des Filières Agroalimentaires Bio.
Stassart, Pierre M ULiege; Jamar, Daniel

in Innovations Agronomiques (2009), 4

Recent debates concerning organic food systems have focused on the conventionalisation hypothesis that posits that the organic food sector has become increasingly divided between “historical” players in ... [more ▼]

Recent debates concerning organic food systems have focused on the conventionalisation hypothesis that posits that the organic food sector has become increasingly divided between “historical” players in the organic movement, on one side, and by distributors and industrial operators recently arrived in the sector, on the other side, who practice a more conventionalised form of organic agriculture that is now gaining popularity. The most prominent explanations for the growth and dominance of a conventionalised organic food system have been economic, based on the logic of input costs, especially land rent. We use the case of the Belgian Blue commodity system and the Belgian organic beef commodity system to argue that conventionalisation is also cognitive. To understand the role of cognition in the rise of the conventional organic food sector, we use the concept of a system of cognitive references, as developed by Muller and Jobert. We believe that comparing organic and conventional practices as two cognitive reference systems allows for a deeper understanding of conventionalisation. This occurs in two ways: first, because it makes it clear that the two systems coexist on a cognitive level, understood in a broad sense as tightly-knit sets of knowledge, beliefs, standards, and images, and, second, because the concept of a reference system makes it possible to understand how the conventional system can become irreversible (lock-in effect) and thus incompatible with the development of the organic system. [less ▲]

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See detailAudiovisual reflexive methodology : How & What can be said, Where?
Stassart, Pierre M ULiege; Mathieu, Valérie

Conference (2009)

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See detailLes avenirs de l’élevage, enjeu économique et social majeur de la province de Luxembourg.
Peeters, Pierre; Pichon, Roger; Mormont, Marc ULiege et al

Report (2009)

la Province de Luxembourg a souhaité que soit menée une réflexion sereine, aussi scientifique et objective que possible, sur les avenirs possibles de l’élevage chez nous. Deux questions fondamentales ... [more ▼]

la Province de Luxembourg a souhaité que soit menée une réflexion sereine, aussi scientifique et objective que possible, sur les avenirs possibles de l’élevage chez nous. Deux questions fondamentales présidaient la démarche : - au niveau « micro-économique », y a-t-il un avenir chez nous pour l’agriculture ? Autrement dit, est-ce un métier d’avenir, faut-il encore encourager les jeunes à s’y engager ? Comment peuvent-ils espérer gagner leur vie en embrassant cette profession passionnante mais difficile ? - au niveau « macro-économique », comment pouvons-nous influer sur le cours des choses pour préserver la diversité des activités économiques sur le territoire de la province ? Que pouvons-nous faire pour que l’agriculture puisse rester un secteur créateur d’emploi et par ailleurs un moteur de notre vitalité rurale ? Traduites en objet de recherche, ces questions devenaient : - identifier les facteurs qui a court et moyen termes sont susceptibles de conditionner le devenir de l'agriculture ; - identifier les formes et les conditions de viabilité (économique mais aussi acceptation par les intéressés) susceptibles de favoriser l'adaptation de l'agriculture à ces facteurs de changement ; - définir précisément les enjeux économiques et sociaux (qu’y a-t-il à perdre et à gagner dans chaque avenir identifié ?) ; - amener, d’une manière participative, les acteurs concernés (agriculteurs, mais aussi pouvoirs locaux, etc.) à adopter un état d’esprit positif face aux changements proposés afin de leur permettre d’intégrer ces changements. [less ▲]

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See detailRunning an Interdisciplinary Competency Group
Stassart, Pierre M ULiege

Report (2008)

This paper presents a translation of part of a report written by a CRE colleague in Belgium. It concerns the development of a distinctive method of conducting interdisciplinary research, known as a ... [more ▼]

This paper presents a translation of part of a report written by a CRE colleague in Belgium. It concerns the development of a distinctive method of conducting interdisciplinary research, known as a Competency Group. A Competency Group brings together a range of individuals with differing experiences and knowledge of a particular problem. The Competency Group aims to move thinking about the problem forward through group interaction. This translation outlines four key principles for working in this way: the narrative form; intersections between systems of reference; putting knowledge to the test and mutual learning; and the suspension of strategic interests. [less ▲]

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See detailDifferent concepts of animal welfare and stakeholders arguments
Bartiaux-Thill, Nicole; Stassart, Pierre M ULiege; Lamine, Claire et al

Poster (2008, September 11)

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See detailSteak up to the horns: Conventionalisation of Organic stock farming: knowledge's lock-in in the agrifood chain.
Stassart, Pierre M ULiege; Jamar, Daniel

in GeoJournal (2008), 73(1), 31-44

Recent conversations concerning organic food systems have focused on the conventionalization hypothesis, which posits that the organic food sector has become increasingly bifurcated between “historical” ... [more ▼]

Recent conversations concerning organic food systems have focused on the conventionalization hypothesis, which posits that the organic food sector has become increasingly bifurcated between “historical” players in the organic movement on one side, and on the other by distributors and industrial operators recently arrived in the sector, who practice a more conventionalized form of organic agriculture which is now on the ascendancy. The most prominent explanations for the growth and dominance of a conventionalized organic food system have been economic, based in the logics of input costs, especially land rent. We use the cases of the Belgian Blue commodity system and the Belgian organic beef commodity system to argue that conventionalization is also cognitive. To understand the role of cognition in the ascendance of the conventional organic food sector, we utilize concept of “référentiel”—or system of cognitive references—as developed by Muller and Jobert. We believe that comparing organic and conventional practices as two systems of cognitive references makes a deeper understanding of conventionalization possible in two ways: first because it makes it clear that the two systems coexist on a cognitive level, understood in a broad sense as tightly knit sets of knowledges, beliefs, standards, and images. Secondly, the concept of référentiel enables one to understand how the conventional system can become irreversible (lock-in effect) and thus incompatible with the development of the organic system. [less ▲]

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See detailProceedings of the International Conference on Alternative Agri-food Networks & Sustainable Consumption
Stassart, Pierre M ULiege

Book published by ULg Campus Arlon (2008)

The term “sustainable consumption” is a slogan that arose in the South to counter the phenomenon of “overconsumption” in the North. It assumes that changing consumption patterns can have an impact on ... [more ▼]

The term “sustainable consumption” is a slogan that arose in the South to counter the phenomenon of “overconsumption” in the North. It assumes that changing consumption patterns can have an impact on production patterns and resource utilization. It also assumes that today’s food systems preserve a right to food for everyone. While we do not as yet have a unified corpus on this issue, we can nevertheless identify an area that has been the focus of considerable investigation and findings by social scientists, namely, alternative food consumption-production patterns. Alternative Agri-food Networks (AAFNs) have provided the raw material for massive scientific investigation from various standpoints, ranging from their contributions to rural development strategies via short food supply chains (SSFCs) to the AAFNs’ potential to resist and/or build alternatives to the consumer/producer relations that are imposed on society by conventional agri-food systems. Some of these initiatives have been analyzed from a more territorial perspective. This is the case of Localized Agri-food Systems (LAFSs). However, this admittedly minor trend refers back to the highly controversial notion of “local” that one finds in the English-language literature. Finally, the notion of “(Agri)Food Systems” seems to be mobilized more in conjunction with the issues of food sovereignty and the new issues that are being raised by, for example, that of “agrifuels.” The use of the term “alternative” has prevailed because it makes it possible to distinguish clearly between studies of alternative agri-food networks and conventional agri-food systems. However, it is problematic because it erases the key question of food systems’ resiliency and abilities to change and cope with a changing environment. This capacity for change concerns agri-food systems’ abilities to change their production and consumption patterns in favor of greater sustainability but also the social sciences’ abilities to allow for the complexity, contradictions, and dead ends of such movements (Dupuis, Goodman 2005). The conference’s four strands We want to tackle the question of the contributions that the study of agri-food systems and alternative agri-food networks (S3A-AAFNs) can make to sustainable development by looking at four themes, namely, 1) the initiatives’ trajectories, 2) food citizens, 3) workers in the food chain, and 4) research posture. 1. The initiatives’ trajectories towards greater sustainability: What can these initiatives’ (communities, collectives, AAFNs, etc.) practices and time frames teach us about sustainable development as a social experiment? Sustainable development is a research subject that enables us to set up observation schemes but also empirical practical intervention by players claiming to toe the sustainable development line. Following the distinction made by Thompson (1997) between a normative assessment approach (resource efficiency) and a comprehensive learning approach (functional integrity), we ask the question of sustainable development through that of the abilities of the schemes that the players set up to build awareness and learning procedures. How do these schemes influence the sustainability of production systems in particular? Seen from this perspective, the question of time can be envisioned more specifically. These questions can be grasped in a relatively conventional manner (extension of chains, professionalization of players, continuity, etc.), but one can also take a more radical approach and examine the time frames that are embedded in these networks, in the manner of the slow food movement, for example. How do these trajectories challenge the ecological modernization project, which is allegedly based on scientific rationality (technical innovation) and democratic procedures (roles of pressure groups)? More particularly, don’t these trajectories challenge the role of the food citizen that we tackle in the next strand? 2. The civic consumer’s action theory: The role of the consumer cum citizen, “civic consumer,” or “food citizen” (in the case of food) is often raised, as in Moving from the consumer to food citizen (Wilkins, 2005). However, it seems to be treated more by carving away what it is not. A first perspectives is that of the supply that defines the consume as a chooser, whereby the supply develops an ability to influence the consumer’s behavior based on the products and information that target the consumer. A second perspective, that of a consumer who is “secondarily a citizen”, that is to say, a player in civil society who will influence the public policies that are supposed to influence or “moralize” citizens’ behavior as consumers (Spargaaren, 2003). Do these perspectives allow fully for the diversity of ways in which consumers get involved? How in particular can one develop an action theory that can allow for the paradox of the “value action gap” and envision habits and changing habits? The consumer can be grasped either individually or as belonging to a group. Consequently, collective action can be considered one way in which the food citizen acts. Which forms of collective action strive to organize sustainable consumption and act as a political player? What forms of intervention and negotiation with production and market agents do they take? What are their impacts on the conditions under which products are produced and sold? Are these collectives trying to open up forms of deliberation around the sustainability of agricultural practices? 3. Workers and consumers: The aim of this strand is to allow for the worker in the food chain, the producer’s work, and the forms of solidarity that are forged between workers and consumers. Social science theorization about conventional agri-food systems gradually abandoned the issues of work and workers in the food chain over the past thirty years (Porcher, 2002). Is the study of “alternative agri-food networks” in a better position? This question of social justice is neither the subject of systematic practices in the agri-food initiatives studied in California (Allen 2003) nor the subject of very widespread theorization work, with the exception of some original research. Yet, historically, research on consumer commitment, cooperatives, and workers’ purchasing unions has attached a great deal of importance to social justice. 4. Research posture: As point out, placing the research under the aegis of sustainable consumption can lead to doing the research differently Godard and Hubert (2002). Approaches and practices may be affected by such a positioning, especially in the question formulation and outcome discussion phases. However, the research method itself can be affected. What does the question of sustainability, more specifically that of sustainable consumption, change in the research postures that are adopted and methodologies that are developed? Do the interdisciplinary research designs and finalized research have special roles to play? Specific subtopic: the issue of changes of scale and “governance.” [less ▲]

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See detailBeyond Ecological Resources Managment, How to think Sustainability
Stassart, Pierre M ULiege

Conference (2008)

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See detailThe problem of the consumer may be the solution. Sustainable production from the consumers perspective: the emergence of the "Gaume grassland steer" in Belgium
Stassart, Pierre M ULiege

in Stassart, Pierre M (Ed.) Proceedings of the "Sustainable Consumption Alternative Agrifood Systems (2008)

This paper examines the question of sustainable consumption through the consumer’s contribution to the various dimensions of sustainability. The consumer’s participation reveals legitimacy conflicts in ... [more ▼]

This paper examines the question of sustainable consumption through the consumer’s contribution to the various dimensions of sustainability. The consumer’s participation reveals legitimacy conflicts in the process of designing new production systems. The different dimensions of sustainability can be linked to different legitimacy models. When the building of new systems entails a concerted process involving dialogue and deliberation among stakeholders from the agricultural and environmental sectors, various legitimacy principles are mobilized and confront each other through the spokespeople who represent the interests involved. This specific case concerns beef produced from the ”Gaume grassland steer,” a system that can be characterized as agroecological and territorial. The consumers who were involved contributed, through deliberative processes, to the coexistence of various legitimacy principles and stakeholder cooperation. This capacity could be linked to their multiple and fuzzy identities because their identities were shown to be flexible, changing with the institutional setting, which was sometimes consumer-oriented and sometimes territory-driven. This allowed them to act as mediators between environmentalists and farmers. To do this they had to be able to accept the limits of each legitimacy principle and contest the possibility of imposing only one principle on all the others. In so doing they helped the heterogeneous actors to reach compromises by referring to a kind of patrimonial common good. [less ▲]

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See detailThe dilemmas for a sustainable food sector
Mormont, Marc ULiege; Stassart, Pierre M ULiege

in Stassart, Pierre M (Ed.) Proceedings of the International Confernce (2008)

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See detailLes objets éphémères du développement durable
Mougenot, Catherine ULiege; Stassart, Pierre M ULiege

in Melard, François (Ed.) Ecologisation : objets et concepts intermédiaires (2008)

C’est donc un mécanisme qui se suffit à lui-même que nous avons voulu décrire dans ce texte, sans nous préoccuper des suites vécues par les acteurs de nos deux cas d’étude, la production des deux objets ... [more ▼]

C’est donc un mécanisme qui se suffit à lui-même que nous avons voulu décrire dans ce texte, sans nous préoccuper des suites vécues par les acteurs de nos deux cas d’étude, la production des deux objets qu’ils mobilisent nous apparaissant comme des moments de cristallisation de l’action collective qu’ils esquissent. L’efficacité de ces objets va rester limitée dans le temps et l’espace, ils sont en effet impossibles à utiliser dans d’autres contextes ou par d’autres acteurs. Mais en même temps, ils produisent « quelque chose » que nous avons cherché à expliciter dans les trois séquences de « convention », « représentation » et « transformation ». Ces trois séquences peuvent aussi être retraduites dans les questions suivantes : qu'est-ce qui permet un accord de départ dans un groupe qui n’est pas vraiment constitué et autour d’un problème qui n’est pas défini précisément ? Comment ce problème peut-il être représenté ? Et qu’est que la saisie de cette image provoque ou permet ? La première séquence rend compte d’un arrangement préalable à l’émergence de l’objet. Il traduit l’articulation entre la mobilisation d’une légitimité extérieure au groupe, toujours suspecte, et d’un engagement qui ne fait qu’émerger dans ce groupe. Et ce qui rend possible cette première convention est le format de la scène sur laquelle elle s’exprime, format que choisissent ou acceptent les acteurs. La convention de départ est donc un arrangement de composantes qui apportent des connaissances et un mode de relations utiles à l’action. La seconde séquence est celle de la représentation et du basculement qu’elle rend possible. Les images produites permettent en effet de saisir en un seul coup d’œil les tensions présentes dans le problème qui se découvre. Tenant ensemble individu et collectif, ici et ailleurs, elles opèrent un travail qui lie et délie, concentre et élargit, et qui ouvre la porte à la troisième séquence, qui est de l’ordre de la transformation. Ces images permettent en effet d’explorer, de tester, de questionner, de recomposer, soit autant d’actions qui s’appliquent aux connaissances mobilisées par les acteurs et aux relations qui se créent ou se renforcent. La première et la troisième de ces séquences sont passagères dans des histoires plus longues, mais elles s’inscrivent cependant dans la temporalité des projets que les acteurs cherchent à construire. C’est le temps que nécessite l’exploration des légitimités qui caractérise les connaissances et les relations, légitimités qui s’imposent autant qu’elles s’exposent et qui apportent des occasions d’ouverture et de fermeture. Mais l’efficacité du mécanisme que nous mettons en évidence tient aussi dans la force du basculement qu’il permet et qui s’exprime le mieux dans la deuxième séquence, celle où prédomine la forme et qui est de l’ordre de l’instant : la découverte collective et simultanée d’une image est le moment éphémère de ce mécanisme éphémère. Ainsi, à l’inverse d’une approche qui insisterait sur le caractère structurant des objets, nous soulignons ici leur caractère fugace ou évanescent. Ces intermédiaires ne sont pas des articulations solides, mais des points de basculement dont le degré de réversibilité est variable : ils ne tiennent que par les engagements des acteurs qui les mobilisent et les attachements aux contextes qui les ont produits. Prétextes pour accompagner les explorations et les transformations, ces objets libèrent des ressources nouvelles, qui restent cependant empreintes de toute leur fragilité. En ne disant pas ce qu’il y a à faire, leur force réside avant tout dans leur caractère souple, dans leur capacité à capter l’hétérogène et à le représenter. Or cet hétérogène, nous pouvons le voir à un premier niveau, quand il concerne l’ici et l’ailleurs, ou encore l’individuel et le collectif, soit des changements d’échelles qui constituent un premier enjeu du développement durable. Mais ces objets éphémères nous suggèrent des changements que l’on pourrait qualifier de second ordre, quand ils saisissent simultanément et « en tension » des éléments aussi différents que la quiétude de riverains ou la gestion du patrimoine foncier de propriétaires et un objectif de protection d’un bien commun, ou encore les exigences d’un distributeur à satisfaire au jour le jour son marché national et les préoccupations d’un petit groupe d’éleveurs qui recherchent une conduite « bio » de leur troupeau. Ces objets se situent dans des trajectoires qu’ils ont la capacité d’infléchir, de faire bifurquer, par un travail d’intégration paradoxal qu’ils réalisent en un seul coup d’œil, une force qui produit le basculement dans le changement de relations et de connaissances. Or ces changements nous intéressent puisque nous les voyons au cœur de ces dynamiques d’action collective vers plus de durabilité. Ces objets apparaissent alors comme des appuis stratégiques pour de nouveaux apprentissages collectifs. Et proposant de véritables esquisses de cartes maritimes de mers et d’océans jusqu’alors inconnus, ils apportent, selon nous, des ressources dépassant de loin ce que pouvaient offrir les portulans. [less ▲]

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See detailRecherche Intervention en Développement Durable, Ethique et Méthode
Stassart, Pierre M ULiege; Mormont, Marc ULiege

in Pichault, François; Lisein, Olivier; Rondeaux, Giseline (Eds.) et al La recherche-intervention peut-elle être socialement responsable? (2008)

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See detailRecherche Intervention pour la Transition vers le Développement Durable
Stassart, Pierre M ULiege; Mormont, Marc; Jamar, Daniel

in Economie Rurale (2008), 306

The transition towards sustainable development is tackled by the “deliberative research” approach. The involvement of researchers in the collective action, obliges them to build new relations between ... [more ▼]

The transition towards sustainable development is tackled by the “deliberative research” approach. The involvement of researchers in the collective action, obliges them to build new relations between research and actors, making the research relevant regarding the identified stakes. The approach – in this case of an organic beef food chain – starts by an identification step of concerns and viewpoints. The analysis leads on one hand to a proposal of action, which reconfigures the relations and stabilizes intermediary objects and on the other hand to research proposals which are intended to give answers to issues related to the action. These researches are related to different models according the way they associate actors and objects. Their outcomes feed the running action and open to a new food chain "référentiel" (frame of reference) Résumé français [less ▲]

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See detailCahier des Charges Boeuf des Prairies Gaumaises
Hanus, Hélène; Roussel, Laurence; Stassart, Pierre M ULiege et al

Learning material (2008)

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