The research program of the Rural Sociology Group focuses on the complex whole of transformation processes in agriculture, food provisioning and rural and metropolitan areas, encompassing three intersecting domains of practices:

  1. Agrarian change

  2. Food provisioning

  3. Rural development

The three domains and our approach are briefly explained at the Research page of our WUR website. The three intersecting domains have been and are often studied in twine in various research projects. For an accurate list of registered Rural Sociology research projects, follow the hyperlink. Same for a list of all completed PhD-thesis under supervision of Rural Sociology and a list of all Rural Sociology publications, sorted by type or by year of publication.

Below a list completed or ongoing major, mostly international research projects, in reverse chronological order, with a hyperlink to a website if still operational.

  • CULTIVATE – Will develop the Food Sharing Compass, a social innovation support platform for FSIs, policy makers, food supply actors, researchers, and citizens (2023-2026).
  • GRASSCEILING – Aims to empower rural women and increase the number of socio-ecological innovations led by women in agriculture, the rural economy and rural communities (2023-2026).
  • ROBUST –  Advancing our understanding of the interactions and dependencies between rural, peri-urban and urban areas to identify and promote policies, governance models and practices that foster mutually-beneficial relations (2017 – 2021).
  • SUSPLACE – Exploring the Transformative Capacity of Place-Shaping Practices (2015 – 2019)
  • WEGO – Well-being, Ecology, Gender and Community (2018-2021)
  • Urbanizing in Place – Building the Food-Water-Energy Nexus from Below
  • BOND – Bringing Organisations & Network Development to higher levels in the Farming sector in Europe.
  • TRANSMANGO – Aims to obtain a comprehensive picture of the effects of the global drivers of change on European and global food demand and on raw material production (2014 – 2018)
  • GLAMUR – Global and local food assessment: a multidimensional performance-based approach (2013 – 2016)
  • SUBURBFOOD – Towards sustainable modes of urban and peri-urban food provisioning (2012 – 2016)
  • SOLINSA – Support of Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture (2011 – 2014)
  • PUREFOOD – Urban, peri-urban and regional food dynamics: toward an integrated territorial approach to food (2010 – 2014)
  • Foodlinks – Using knowledge networks to promote sustainable food (2011 – 2013)
  • DERREG – Developing Europe’s rural regions in the era of globalization (2009 – 2012)
  • Dynamics and robustness of multifunctional agriculture (Dutch program, 2009 – 2011)
  • RuDI – Assessing the impact of rural development policies including LEADER (2008 – 2010)
  • ETUDE – Enlarging the theoretical understanding of rural development (2007 – 2009)
  • COFAMI – Encouraging collective farmers’ marketing initiatives (2005 – 2009)
  • SINERGI – Strengthening international research on geographical indications: from research foundation to consistent policy (2005 – 2009)
  • Welfare and Quality – Science and society improving animal welfare in the food quality chain (2004 – 2009)
  • MultAgri – Capitalisation of research results on the multifunctionality of agriculture and rural areas (2004 – 2005)
  • SUS-CHAIN – Marketing sustainable agriculture: an analysis of the potential role of new food supply chains in sustainable rural development (2003 – 2006)
  • Mulftifunctional Agriculture – From farm practice to farm design and institutional innovation (2002 – 2007)
  • IMPACT – The socio-economic impact of rural development policies: realities and potentials (1998 – 2001)