Stakeholder perceptions of public good provision from agriculture and implications for governance mechanism design

Michaela Roberts*, Anja Byg, Michela Faccioli, Paula Novo, Carol Kyle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Agriculture provides many public goods; however the costs and benefits of these are rarely well distributed. Maintaining public good provision often relies on external governance mechanisms, in turn reliant on the existing socio-ecological system. With two groups of stakeholders (practitioners and academics) we created cognitive maps of socio-ecological systems linking agriculture, public goods, and governance mechanisms in north-east Scotland. Fuzzy cognitive mapping was used to explore stakeholders’ perceptions and experiences, and to assess alternative governance options for the local socio-ecological context. We find agreement for perceptions of the system between stakeholders, but differences in each group’s focus. Models predicted little change in the provision of public goods from agriculture in relation to different governance mechanisms. We find that stakeholder participation can aid understanding of the impacts of proposed governance changes at the local level, improving comprehension of stakeholder perception of impacts and understanding of stakeholders’ reactions to particular governance mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Early online date13 Jul 2020
Publication statusFirst published - 13 Jul 2020


  • agriculture
  • fuzzy cognitive mapping
  • governance
  • land management
  • public goods

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