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

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


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

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

Wegerif - WomanMaizeTradersUnderTree

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.

ESRS 2016 Postgraduate Autumn School, October 3-7, Wales: ‘Researching Globalization in a Rural Context’

This year’s ESRS Autumn School will explore the theory and practice of researching globalization in rural context with a programme led by Michael Woods and the research team from the European Research Council GLOBAL-RURAL project at Aberystwyth University. The theme will examine key aspects of globalization as experienced in rural localities in both the global north and the global south, including agri-food globalization, global economic restructuring, international migration, transnational tourism, cultural globalization and responses to global environmental change, as well as how rural communities and individuals respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by these processes. The Autumn School is aimed at PhD students working on relevant issues in social science disciplines at universities and research institutes in Europe.

See for more information: ESRS Autumn School

Under the lens of embeddedness: a social-cultural perspective on home-grown school feeding in Ghana – PhD-thesis by Nashiru Sulemana

June 2, 2016 at 11.00 a.m. Nashiru Sulemana will defend his PhD-thesis ‘Under the lens of embeddedness; A social-cultural perspective on home-grown school feeding in Ghana‘ in the auditorium of Wageningen University.

The defence ceremony will be streamed live by WURTV but can be viewed later as well. The thesis will be available at WUR-Library after the ceremony has been concluded.

The PhD-thesis analysed how the activities and experiences of different actor groups involved in the implementation of the home-grown aspects of the Ghana school feeding programme enabled as well as constrained local food procurement that was expected to link the school feeding programme to local agricultural development. While the primary objective of any school feeding programme is first and foremost to provide adequate and nutritious food to school children, efforts at employing the power of procurement under home-grown school feeding to benefit local agricultural development have been considered as ‘win-win’ in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in developing countries like Ghana. The assumptions that underpin these ‘win-win’ notions of home-grown school feeding, however, ignore the socio-cultural relationships that anchor the everyday activities and experiences of the actors involved in the implementation of the programme. The thesis, therefore, conceptualized home-grown school feeding as a problem of embeddedness and showed how socio-cultural relationships in the activities and experiences of school level governance actors, school food caterers, local food traders and smallholders enabled as well as constrained local food procurement efforts.

Foreign investment in African Agriculture: the role of China and Brazil – seminar

The sub-department Sociology & Anthropology of Development of the Social Sciences department of Wageningen University invited two key note speakers for a seminar on Foreign Investment in African Agriculture: Prof. Kojo Amanor (University of Ghana) and Prof. Sergio Schneider  (University Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). The two speakers will specifically highlight the role of China and Brazil.

Prof. Kojo Amanor will present an overview of foreign investments in the agricultural sector in Africa. A specific focus will be on investments from BRIC countries, notably from China and Brazil. Prof. Amanor will debate the new roles of China and Brazil in the context of their own political economies, and wider global trends of geopolitical restructuring. Prof. Amanor has published widely on African Agriculture and co-edited a Special Issue of World Development (Vol. 18, 2016) on foreign invest-ment in African agriculture.

Prof. Sergio Schneider will present an analysis of whether and how Brazilian ideas about family farming and rural development have been adopted in African countries, mostly in Mozambique. Prof. Schneider has published widely on issues related to rural development, family farming and land reform in Brazil.

Venue: Wednesday June 1, 2016; 14.00-17.00 in room C67, in the Leeuwenborch building.

Agroecology in Movement: bridging science, practice, movement — April 25, 2016

On the 25th of April the Wageningen University will host the event “AGROECOLOGY – bridging science, practice, movement. With key speakers Pablo Tittonell and Irene Maria Cardoso. Moreover there will be dance, local food, music and much more! AGROECOLOGY – bridging science, … Continue reading →

via 25 April: Agroecology in Movement: bridging science, practice, movement — Boerengroep (Farmers Foundation)