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International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Published by Michigan State University

Official publication of the Research Committee on Sociology of Agriculture and Food (RC-40)
of the International Sociological Association (ISA)

Editors: Raymond Jussaume, Claire Marris and Katerina Psarikidou

Frequency: 3 issues per year 
ISSN: 0798-1759

Volume 5 (1996)

Sustainable Development and Agriculture in the Third World                                                                                                 7-38

Authors: Roberto Henke(a) and Mario Zappacosta(b)
Affiliation: (a)Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Naples, Naples, Italy; (b)Department of Economics, University of Ancona, Ancona, Italy

Abstract            PDF

The main objective of this paper is to analyse the various definitions of the "sustainable development" concept, and to investigate its real contribution as a "new paradigm" of development. It is analyzed the way traditional approaches consider the sustainability problem as well as the contributions of the alternative currents which, being often out of the development discourse, make an attempt of "deconstruction". Different meanings of sustainability in agriculture are analysed for the particular case of developing countries, showing that under that label there are diverse ways of understanding the role of the agricultural sector in economic development.

It is concluded that the concept of sustainable development, due to its own indeterminate nature and to its potential to rethink the traditional strategies for development, only represents a formal attempt to remodernize the old approaches to development problems.



Desarrollo Sostenible y Agricultura en el Tercer Mundo


El principal objetivo de este trabajo es analizar las diferentes definiciones del concepto de desarrollo sostenible, para establecer la eficacia de su aporte teórico como "nuevo paradigma" del desarrollo. Se analiza cómo la corriente tradicional considera el problema de la sostenibilidad, así como las contribuciones de la corriente alternativa la cual, a menudo fuera del discurso del desarrollo, intenta una "deconstruction" de la misma. Se estudian particularmente los diversos significados de sostenibilidad en agricultura en los países en vías de desarrollo, mostrando que, bajo esta etiqueta, se esconden en realidad varios modos de percepción del papel que desempeña el sector agrícola en el desarrollo económico.

Se concluye que el desarrollo sostenible, debido a su naturaleza poco determinada y al hecho de que invita al reanálisis de las estrategias tradicionales con respecto al desarrollo, representa principalmente un intento formal de remodernizar los viejos conceptos que involucran el problema del desarrollo.

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