PhD Defence: Knowledge Production, Agriculture and Commons: The Case of Generation Challenge Programme

On Monday the 18th Soutrik Basu of the Rural Sociology Group will defend his PhD dissertation entitled “Knowledge Production, Agriculture and Commons: the Case of Generation Challenge Programme” in the Aula of Wageningen University. The defence will start at 13.30hrs on monday the 18th of April.


Knowledge Production, Agriculture and Commons: The Case of Generation Challenge Programme

The discourse on knowledge production is in constant transformation: on the one hand, there is the emergence of instrumental knowledge production based on scientific utility and socio-economic relevance and marked by property regimes, while on the other hand, there is another form of knowledge production based on cooperation, communication and the sharing of knowledge often entitled the open-source production or commons-based peer production (CBPP) mode. Both these trends are reflected partially or in full measure within the agrarian knowledge production programme called Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). GCP is an international knowledge production platform that aims to use plant genetic diversity to develop technologies to support plant breeders in developing countries. This research aims at understanding the dynamics of the knowledge production in the GCP drought-tolerant rice research network in Indian context to reflect on the ways in which its knowledge production evolves and the implications of this for agrarian knowledge production and agrarian knowledge producing institutions. This research applied a critical-constructivist research methodology to analyse the GCP knowledge production (drought tolerant rice research in Indian context) in which the three different paradigms of knowledge production (non-instrumental and instrumental, CBPP and Commons) come together. This research shows that an alternative hybrid discourse of knowledge production has emerged within the knowledge production process of GCP drought tolerant rice research in India that has elements from all the three paradigms (mentioned above) alongside some elements that belongs to neither of these paradigms.  Further, this research also reflects on the broader implications of this hybrid discourse of knowledge production for agrarian knowledge production and agrarian knowledge producing institutions such as CGIAR, NARS, and ICAR.


Soutrik BasuSoutrik Basu was born in Bardhaman, India on 8th January 1985. Soutrik is currently employed as a researcher at Rural Sociology (RSO) Group of Wageningen University, The Netherlands. His main research and teaching interests covers a wide range of topics such as commons, land reforms, innovation systemsknowledge systems, agrarian technology development, qualitative research, natural resources management and conflict.

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