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Agrarian governance – who, what, why, how, where, when, price?

Bachev, Hrabrin (2023): Agrarian governance – who, what, why, how, where, when, price?

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The problem of adequate understanding and evaluation of the system of governance, and agrarian governance in particular, is among the most topical academic and practical (policies and business and farms strategies forwarded) tasks. However, there are huge differences in understanding of governance among scholars, practitioners, and official and business documents. Sometimes it is associated with the top management of a country, a company, or an organization; sometimes it is related to government agencies (public administration); sometimes it encompasses the management outside and beyond government entities; sometimes it is used as a synonym of Management, in other instances it is part of the Management of an organization, while in some case it is more general than Management including a great variety of modes, etc. The article aims to adapt the interdisciplinary methodology of the New Institutional Economics and propose an adequate definition and framework for analyzing the system of agrarian governance in Bulgaria. Based on a critical review of previous research and practical experience in this area, it is underlined that agrarian governance is to be studied as a complex system, including four principle components: agrarian and related agents involved in making management decisions; rules, forms, and mechanisms that govern the behavior, activities, and relationships of agrarian agents; processes and activities related to making governing decisions; a specific social order resulting from the governing process and functioning of the system. The analysis of agrarian governance should include the individual elements of the system, different levels of governance, and the main functional areas of agrarian governance, for each of which adequate quantitative or qualitative methods of institutional approach are suggested. When evaluating the agrarian governance system, the personal characteristics of the participating agents, the institutional environment, transaction costs, and benefits, the comparative efficiency of alternative governing structures, and the "time factor" must be taken into account. Further theoretical and empirical research in this "new" field is needed to understand this complex category better and refine approaches to its economic analysis.

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