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AES presidential address, 2021: Policy analysis for rural resilience—Expanding the toolkit
Journal of Agricultural Economics  (IF3.581),  Pub Date : 2021-12-16, DOI: 10.1111/1477-9552.12470
Janet Dwyer

I reflect on the progress of policy analysis for sustainable rural development over my professional lifetime, and the implications for the future. In so doing, I emphasise the distinction between policy analysis and policy evaluation, and the importance of enabling and facilitating transformation to improve resilience in a time of climate crisis; both of which highlight the need for more inclusive analytical tools, concepts and approaches. The central focus is on the development of a conceptual framework which is dynamic, interactive and holistically systemic, elucidated through, especially, comparative case studies and social-ecological concepts. Recognition of the diversity of contexts and the heterogeneity of individual characters embedded in institutional cultures, which are of our own making, leads to a much richer and more resilient conceptual framework for analysis and effective diagnosis than the abstract and severely reductive textbook economic tradition. Future research priorities for agricultural economists are suggested: in new rural governance, mapping food systems, and enhanced performance assessment for farming businesses. In that context, a call is made for increased labour and skills in future UK farming.