Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Reflexive interdisciplinary research: The making of a research programme on the Rural Economy and Land Use

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Lowe, Professor Jeremy Phillipson



This paper provides an account of the origins and formation of the UK Research Councils' Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme and its approach to promoting interdisciplinary working between social and natural scientists. The programme is set in the context of broader developments in science policy, including a policy discourse centred upon sustainable development and the knowledge economy and associated demands for greater accountability in science. Interdisciplinarity promises research that will be more relevant and responsive to public needs and concerns. In describing the provenance of the RELU programme, therefore, the paper seeks to lay out the different stages in its initiation and design to show how, to varying degrees, these were open to external scrutiny and influence. The process of developing the programme illustrates that it is not straightforward to make research agendas and funding more transparent and accountable. It also provides insights into the challenges that interdisciplinarity and accountability present to established science institutions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lowe P, Phillipson J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Agricultural Economics

Year: 2006

Volume: 57

Issue: 2

Pages: 165-184

ISSN (print): 0021-857X

ISSN (electronic): 1477-9552

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2006.00045.x


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric