Social Networks and the Diffusion of Innovations, towards a Critical Partnership for a Successful Adaptation Strategy to climate change: A Case Study of Agriculture in Southwestern Quebec

By Daouda Oumarou, Christopher Bryant and Cherine Akkari.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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In addition to climatic variables (including extremes), non-climatic factors should be considered in the analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change and variability. This shift in paradigm places the human agent at the centre of the process of adaptation to climate change, particularly with regard to the role of social networks in the transmission of new ideas. However, in a sector such as agriculture, it is recognized that social networks already play a crucial role in adaptation through the diffusion of innovations. To this end, the aim of this paper is to analyze the role of social networks for the support of the diffusion and adoption of innovations as a strategy for adaptation of agriculture to climate change and variability. Using grounded theory, a case study conducted in southwestern Quebec, and which involved different stakeholders in agriculture underscores the complementarity between the informal social networks and the formal structures that support adaptation, as well as the need to establish partnerships. In addition, the study positions adaptation of Quebec’s agriculture in a perspective of private adaptation, of which its success is based on a “socialization” of innovations, which leads to formal and informal institutional processes. The implementation of this type of partnership can contribute significantly to improving the adaptation process at the local level.

Keywords: Climate Change and variability, Adaptation, Agriculture, Partnership, Diffusion of Innovations, Social network

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 6, Issue 3-4, May 2015, pp.37-58. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 708.000KB).

Dr Daouda Oumarou

PhD candidate, Geography department, university of Montreal, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Prof. Christopher Bryant

Professor, Department of Geography, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


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