About Dirk Roep

I'm Assistant professor at the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University. Besides teaching and supervising thesis students, I'm involved in research on multifunctional agriculture, food provisioning and place-based development. My specific angle is transformative capacity, joint learning and innovation and institutional reform

Farmers’ Markets in Beijing – an impression by prof. Jan Douwe van der Ploeg

By prof. dr ir Jan Douwe van der Ploeg

Poster lecture by prof. Van der PloegAt the end of October I had the opportunity to meet a large group of social activists involved in the development of Farmers’ Markets in Beijing. I gave a short presentation in a meeting with some 150 people (see the announcement). It took place in a cinema with my Power Point Presentation projected on the screen normally used for films. The good thing was that the projected images were now up to 5 times larger than me myself. I felt reduced to the right proportions. Afterwards we had a lengthy conversation on the construction of new markets, peasant agriculture and new peasants. The nearby Farmers’ Market (that frequently changes location: it travels through Beijing) impressed me very much: it was, as it were, a perfect illustration of the discussion we had inside the cinema. Many peasants, many new peasants as well. Continue reading

RETHINK Final conference in Brussels December 2, 2015

RETHINKOn behalf of the Rural Sociology I’m having a seat in the Advisory Board of the RETHINK: a transdisciplinary research project supported by the European Commission and funding bodies in 14 countries under the umbrella of FP7 and the RURAGRI ERA-NET. The RETHINK Final conference will take place in Brussels, December 2, 2015. It will be an interesting event with a final reflection by:

  • Rob Peters, Head Unit ‘Research & Innovation’ of DG Agri;
  • Christiane Canenbley, Unit ‘Agricultural Policy Analysis and
    Perspectives’ of DG Agri
  • Egizio Valceschini, Director of Research at L’Institut National de la
    Recherche Agronomique (INRA), representating the RURAGRI ERA network
  • A RURAGRI country representative

You can download the program here and register yourself at the RETHINK website.

For more information you can contact the RETHINK scientific coordinator Dr. Karlheinz Knickel: knickel@em.uni-frankfurt.de

Stage bij Stichting Demeter – meewerken aan visievorming op vernieuwing in BD landbouw

DemeterStichting Demeter biedt meerdere stageplekken voor studenten die komend winterseizoen 2015-2016 met boeren willen werken aan een visievorming op kennisontwikkeling en vernieuwing in de Biologisch Dynamische landbouw. Dit tegen de achtergrond van het maatschappelijk debat rond kwesties als: dierwelzijn; het gebruik van antibiotica en antibiotica vrije status; de mannelijke lijn in de veehouderij (wat doen we met stiertjes, bokjes en haantjes) en kalfjes bij de koe. Van ousher heeft de BD zich sterk onderscheiden van de gangbare landbouw in deze kwesties, maar dat zal naar verwachting minder worden. Hoe kan de BD zich dan blijven onderscheiden? Continue reading

Reminder: 15 vacancies for Early Stage Researchers Sustainable Place Shaping (SUSPLACE)

The 15 vacancies for Early Stage Researchers in Sustainable Place Shaping at six host universities are still open for application till October 7th (midnight). More information can be found at a previous blog posted here: SUSPLACE Programme vacancies: 15 Early Stage Research positions at six universities. Information and hyperlinks to the recruitment sites of the respective host universities have been updated.

Bettina Bock appointed as Professor for Population Decline and Quality of Rural Life at University of Groningen

Dr ir Bettina Bock

Bettina Bock is appointed as Professor for Population Decline and Quality of Rural Life in North Netherlands at the University of Groningen. The appointment is for five years starting September 1st.

Dr.ir Bettina Bock (1960) is a rural sociologist working at the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University since 1996, currently as associate professor. Her research deals with rural development and social innovation in Europe while focusing on rural marginalisation, civic participation, entrepreneurship, governance and social inequality.

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Community gardens in urban areas – critical reflection on social cohesion & alternative food provisioning – PhD thesis by Esther Veen

Esther Veen - Community gardens in urban areasJune 15, 2015 at 1.30 pm Esther Veen will publicly defend her PhD-thesis ‘Community gardens in urban areas: A critical reflection on the extent to which they strengthen social cohesion and provide alternative food‘ in the Auditorium of Wageningen University. The defence ceremony will be streamed live by WURTV but can be viewed later as well. A hard copy of the thesis can be ordered by sending an email to esther.veen@wur.nl or a pdf can be downloaded from Wageningen Library (see link above).

This thesis shows that the different organisational set-ups of community gardens reflect gardeners’ different motivations for being involved in these gardens. The gardens studied in this thesis can be defined as either place-based or interest-based; gardens in the first category are focused on the social benefits of gardening, whereas gardens in the second category are focused on gardening and vegetables. Nevertheless, social effects occur in both types of gardens; in all of the gardens studied, participants meet and get to know others and value these contacts. Based on this finding, I conclude that community gardens do indeed enhance social cohesion.

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Globalization and Europe’s Rural Regions – Ashgate

Globalization and Europe’s Rural Regions is edited by John McDonagh, Birte Nienaber and Michael Woods. Read their Introduction: Globalization and Europe’s Rural Regions – Challenge and Opportunity. Check the Contents or have a Preview.

This book examines the multiple ways in which rural regions in Europe are being restructured through globalization and the regional development responses that they have adopted. It provides an understanding of the key challenges and opportunities for rural regions arising from the major economic, social, political and cultural changes associated with globalization, including trade liberalization and economic deregulation, increased international migration, and the rise of global consciousness about environmental issues. Drawing on examples and findings from a major European research project, DERREG, the book presents detailed case studies of ten regions in different parts of Europe, exploring the factors that lead to different experiences of globalization in each of the regions, and highlighting examples of good practice in regional development responses. The book concludes by proposing a typology of regional responses to globalization and considering the policy implications of the research findings. As such, ‘Globalization and Europe’s Rural Regions’ is important reading for geographers, sociologists, planners and economists interested in understanding the impact of globalization in rural regions, and for rural development professionals seeking to mobilize effective responses.

Chapter 3 Raising Self-efficacy and Resilience in the Westerkwartier: The
Spin-off from Collaborative Leadership by Dirk Roep, Wiebke Wellbrock and Lummina  (Ina) Horlings is a contribution of the Rural Sociology Group. Continue reading

Eco Intensive Agriculture Conference proceedings

The proceedings of the Eco Intensive Agriculture Conference are available at the website of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). Rural Sociology was represented by our chair prof. Han Wiskerke and Jessica Duncan (Food Governance).

Jessica Duncan’s Pecha Kucha (a presentation of 6:20 with a series of 20 slides that change every 20 seconds) was called ‘Governing the Doughnut: the role of scientists in transformations towards sustainable food systems‘, watch the video above.

Han Wiskerke was one of the six key note speakers, presenting ‘Eco-intensive agriculture and the provision of public goods‘. All six key note speakers were asked to make short statements on four questions and this was recorded. These short video are also available at the NIOO website. Below the answer to question 4: What step is needed now?

Alternative Food Networks in Calabria – PhD-thesis Simona D’Amico

Simona cover PhDApril 28, 2015 at 11.00 am Simona D’Amico will publicly defend her PhD-thesis ‘Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) in Calabria. A sociological exploration of interaction dynamics‘ in the Auditorium of Wageningen University. The defence ceremony will be streamed live by WURTV but can be viewed later as well. A pdf copy of the thesis can be downloaded from Wageningen Library, but is under embargo till April 28.

The PhD-thesis aims at advancing the understanding of identities and roles of non-mainstream food systems. It focuses on AFNs which operate in the context of rather traditional agrifood systems, engage in both food provisioning and raising civic awareness, and collaborate with a wide range of actors, such as producers, consumers, civil society organisations and institutions. In particular, the research studies an AFN – GAS M – in Calabria – Southern Italy – by shedding light on the dynamics of interaction during the organisation and implementation of its activities.