Exploring perspectives on agroecological transition in Scotland with critical systems heuristics

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Critical systems heuristics (CSH) is a framework that facilitates reflective practice in exploring and solving complex management problems. Several applications have demonstrated the utility of CSH for addressing problems concerning the environment and sustainability. As such, we apply CSH to explore perspectives on agroecological transition in Scotland. In interviews with 10 farmers, agricultural professionals, and researchers, we demonstrate the utility of boundary critique as a practice for unpacking the judgements that underpin perspectives on Scottish farming. Moreover, we derive a series of practical insights and recommendations to progress agroecological transition in Scotland, including: support for a greater diversity of farming systems; action across the entire food system to avoid ‘lock-ins’; improved tools to measure farming outcomes; and nuanced and precise conversations regarding the nature and purpose of agroecological farming. We hope that our accessible and transparent approach might encourage the uptake of CSH research among systems researchers and practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalSystemic Practice and Action Research
Early online date4 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2023


  • critical systems heuristics
  • CSH
  • boundary critique
  • agroecology


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