The popularity of agroecology has grown over the last few years as an alternative paradigm for food systems. This public attention has meant agroecology is increasingly becoming institutionalised and integrated into food policy frameworks. While there is a significant body of literature discussing the origins and worldviews intrinsic to agroecology, hardly any academic publications focusing on analysing policies claiming to have an agroecological focus exist. This first policy study of its kind contributes to the scarce agroecological policy literature by interrogating what we argue is a ‘translation’ process that starts with the vision of agroecology and analyses how the concept changes once it has been operationalised into a policy document or law. Evidence from two European agricultural policy contexts, namely France and UK, is presented. The methodology followed focused on the analysis of the context, problem construction, conceptualisation of agroecology, operational principles and policy instruments included in the policy documents. Three main themes emerged from the case studies: differences in framing agroecology in the public policy arena; common dependencies to existing configurations influencing translations of agroecology in public policies; and the need for democratic discussion on the hybridisation of agroecology itself as well as on implied, but often veiled, political choices. This paper concludes a selective and relational hybridisation of agroecology is emerging during its ‘translation’ into public policies.
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- agroecology law
- policy translation
- agricultural policy