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Abstract

This study analyses the path-dependencies of past, current and future agricultural policies. The research is based on the futures-research methodologies and foresight methods. The data was collected in a series of workshops with an aim to define path-ways for future agricultural policies in Finland. Our results show that horizontal path-dependencies of agri-environmental policies in Finland started to evolve from the 1980s. Focus has been on nutrient run-offs, soil erosion, water quality, among others. Current policy aims to take wider view based on ecosystem services. For the future policies, the main breaking-point identified is the role of agriculture in the climate change mitigation. The changing demands of future policies will challenge policy design. It is quite likely, that to respond to the increasing demand for agri-environmental policies, a shift from sector policy towards wider system-based pol-icies is required.

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