Register now for RSO-55306 ‘A Global Sense of Place’

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In period 2, from October 31 till December 19, we’ll be teaching again RSO-55306 A Global  Sense of Place: Place-based approaches to development.  Registration for the course is open until October 2, 2016.

A Global Sense of Place  is an optional interdisciplinary course on sustainable place-based development for students from various master programmes (e.g. MDR, MES, MID, MLP, MUE, MOA, MFN). The course builds on the BSc course RSO-56806 Sociology and Anthropology of Place-shaping providing an introduction to place-based approaches in development. Knowledge of this introductory course is an advantage, but is not assumed. The course aims to make students acquainted with an interdisciplinary and place-based approach to development.

A relational place-based approach is seen as key to the understanding of interrelated rural and urban transformation processes and ergo sustainable development. In a relational approach places are considered as contingent,but in time and space differentiated outcomes of three interrelated interdependent and unbounded transformative processes: political-economic, ecological and social-cultural. Places are time and space specific constructs, like their boundaries and connections.

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Place as the outcome of three interrelated processes

By means of this course students will achieve profound understanding in key-concepts and methods on place-based sustainable development. Work from key thinkers in sustainable place-making will be critically discussed and examined on the basis of various cases. Guest speakers are invited to reflect on place-based approaches to sustainable development and illustrate these through case studies. Ultimately students will acquire a place-based perspective on development.

Language of instruction and examination is English. Classes are taught on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.30 -12.30.

Key lecturers: Dr. ir. Joost Jongerden (RSO), Dr. Ir. Dirk Roep (RSO) and dr.ir. Martijn Duineveld (GEO)

For more information, please contact Anke de Vrieze, anke.devrieze@wur.nl.

Resistance in action in the Mayan region: “NO to GMO’s”

Mayan women in a concert of the Ma OGM campaign. Source Maria Boa

Mayan women in a concert of the Ma OGM campaign. Source maria Boa

August 18 María del Refugio Boa Alvarado successfully defended her MSc-thesis ‘Resistance in Action; Mobilization of Mayan beekeepers against GM soy: The case of the ‘Colectivo MA OGM‘ for the Master International Master in Rural Development. Below a post by Maria.

Are you interested on social movements? On Indigenous rights? On collectives and their practices? For years, many social scientists have been fascinated by the study of social movements and collective action. In my case, I am fascinated by the research of complex associations that frame and articulate their claims or grievances. Particularly, the processes of social transformation that have their grassroots within indigenous communities. Continue reading

Oratie Bettina Bock aan RUG over bevolkingsdaling en leefbaarheid in Noord Nederland

Dr ir Bettina Bock

Prof. dr ir Bettina Bock

Op 20 september a.s. houdt Bettina Bock, universitair hoofddocent bij de leerstoelgroep Rurale Sociologie van Wageningen Universiteit, haar oratie als bijzonder hoogleraar aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG) met als titel ‘Leegte en Ruimte; over bevolkingsdaling en leefbaarheid in Noord Nederland‘.

In de discussie over bevolkingsdaling en leefbaarheid ligt de nadruk doorgaans op leegte. Leegte die ontstaat als voorzieningen verdwijnen en de leegte die blijft als mensen verhuizen. In haar oratie stelt Bettina Bock naast leegte ook ruimte aan de orde. Ruimte voor vernieuwing en verandering, én ruimte voor nieuwe inzichten die ontstaat als we van perspectief wisselen en nieuwe vragen stellen. Lees verder het persbericht van RUG. Continue reading

Evaluation of the LEADER programme by LAGs – A critical reflection

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A Local Action Group; source Matteo Metta

August 29 Matteo Metta has succesfully defended his MSc-thesis ‘From Good Will to Good Use: a critical analysis of the LEADER evaluation‘ for the Master International Master in Rural Development. Below a summary of the thesis. Continue reading

Capital Selecta: Global Food Security

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WUR students attending CFS negotiations in 2015

In October RSO will offer a 3 ECTS Capita Selecta course called Global Food Security: Linking theory and practice. 

The course offers the opportunity for students to learn more about international food security governance through lectures, assignments, and by attending the annual meeting of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome.

The schedule (subject to change) is:

  • Tues Oct 11 17:30-19:30 Lecture- Introduction to Global Food Security Governance
  • Thurs Oct 13 17:30-19:30 Lecture- Introduction to the Committee on World Food Security + potluck dinner
  • Oct 15-22 Excursion to the CFS in Rome
  • Nov 1st 17:30-19:30 Presentations of final assignments

Registration is limited and open to students with a proven interest in food security, international development, and/or global governance. Interested students should send a CV and letter of motivation to jessica.duncan (a) wur.nl

Please note students are expected to cover the costs of travel (airfair, accomodation (we will likely reserve a large apartment via AirBnB), and food). Student course coordinators are working to secure funding to help reduce these costs.

Gender Dilemmas in Sustainable Development

Exciting lecture!

Food Governance

harcourt-lectureThe Wageningen University Gender & Diversity working group presents a lunch-time lecture on Gender Dilemmas in Sustainable Development

by Dr Wendy Harcourt

Date: Wednesday, October 12

Time: 12:30-13:30

Place: C68, de Leeuwenborch, Wageningen

Wendy Harcourt argues that feminist theory brings important political lessons to sustainable development. Her talk explores: development as transformative politics; intersectionality; and the inter-section of gender with sustainability issues. She argues that new methodologies are required in development that bridge the divide between practice-based analysis and universalising ‘global’ theory. She presents the case for why it is important to learn from those who are breaking new ground listening and learning from the perspectives of communities living and working on the margins of mainstream development.

Dr Wendy Harcourt is Associate Professor in Critical Development and Feminist Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University in The Hague. She is Research Programme Leader for the Civic…

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Exploring Consumer-Producer Relationships and Consumer Involvement Practices in AFN in Oldenburg

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MSc-thesis by Katharina Prause, MOA student Wageningen University

June 2016 Katharina Prause completed her MSc-thesis for the Master of Organic Agriculture of Wageningen University. The full thesis is available here. Below an abstract of her thesis. Continue reading

Assessing the Sustainability of Local and Global Food Chains – GLAMUR Special Issue

GLAMUR main messages

The EU-funded research project GLAMUR has been completed earlier this year. More info on the project, its sustainability performance-based approach and the findings can be accessed at the website. Next to all reports a synopsis of the project, its approach, the main findings and recommendations has been published, a leaflet with the main messages and finally a Special Issue of Sustainability: Sustainability Performance of Conventional and Alternative Food Chains was recently published containing eight open access articles following an editorial by Gianluca Brunori and Francesca Galli.

The Symbiotic Food System of Dar es Salaam – new publication

Just published in a Special Issue of Agriculture: ‘The Symbiotic Food System: An ‘Alternative’ Agri-Food System Already Working at Scale

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Woman Maize Traders in Dar es Salaam, source Marc Wegerif

In this new article Marc Wegerif and Paul Hebinck show how small-scale and interdependent actors produce food and get it to urban eaters at a city feeding scale without large vertically- or horizontally-integrated corporate structures. The research from Dar es Salaam, a city of over 4.5 million people, reveals a ‘symbiotic food system‘ that is an existing alternative to the globally dominant agri-business model. Importantly, it can and does deliver at scale and in a way that better responds to the needs of people in poverty; both food eaters and food producers. Neither is the symbiotic food system static, it is growing in response to the needs of the city, but it does not grow through the popular notion of ‘scaling-up’, rather it grows through a much more equitable process of replication. The article gives particular attention to the functioning of market places and how new actors enter into the food system. These reveal that more important to the system than competition are various forms of collaboration based around symbiosis as a core ordering principle. Moreover, the paper shows that the symbiotic food system connects in many, often unexpected, ways the urban and rural spaces in Tanzania. There is much to learn from such a system which develops without significant support from the state or other agencies.

Also published in this Special Issue: Theorizing Agri-Food Economies by Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, discussing how agri-food economies evolve over time. A central thesis of the paper is that different theoretical representations not only reflect the differences in agro-economies and their developmental tendencies, but are also important drivers that actively shape the trajectories that they describe.

Interdisciplinary Postdoc position – “Food system transformability to ecologically intensive production and sustainable value chains”

Food Governance

We are hiring a Postdoc for a neat project in Chile and Uruguay. Deadline for applications is September 19th

Based in Wageningen with frequent travel.

More information here:

Function
The development of sustainable food systems depends on
  • resilience and adaptability of socio-ecological systems to respond to short term variation in drivers, and
  •  system transformability to reach new equilibria under drivers that change over longer periods of time.

The different food system components, their interactions and feedbacks, and the different time scales on which they operate give rise to complex systems in which interventions may have diverse and unexpected outcomes. Systemic learning and co-innovation have been advocated as key elements for analysis and decision making in complex (food) systems.
The Postdoc will develop and implement a systemic learning approach on ecologically intensive production and value chains.

The main research question will be “How can stakeholders stimulate transformation towards…

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