Agrarian and Food Citizenship - 3 ECTS

This PhD course gives participants an opportunity to intensively engage with some of the major debates about the democratization of our agricultural and food practices, so that they can continue to explore and expand these debates in their own research. The main analytical lens to this democratization of agriculture and food practices in this course is that of citizenship. The course is organized as an one-week intensive discussion seminar.

Organised by Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Fri 6 May 2022 until Fri 13 May 2022

Venue Leeuwenborch, building number 201

Agrarian and Food Citizenship

Rooted in a shared belief that our agricultural and food system has produced unsustainable social and environmental cleavages, social movements like Via Campesina have called for the right of people to define their agricultural and food practices. At the same time, various initiatives have emerged that bring this principle into practice. Instead of assuming our relationship to agriculture and food to be that of a consumer making individual decisions in the marketplace, these movements and initiatives have focused on how we organize our agriculture and food practices, and how this can be done different. The aim of this course is to investigate the shift away from a consumerist perspective in which we shop our way to a better agricultural and food system (”vote with our fork”) and towards a citizenship perspective based on the right to have a say in, as well as actively shape, our agriculture and food system. Applying a citizenship lens to an understanding of how our agriculture and food system are organized implies a consideration of the power-relations and identities concealed. In addition, is raises the question how to conceptive “citizenship”? Various scholars have argued that citizenship is not a formal status, and that people establish themselves as citizens by enacting rights. In this course we will consider agrarian an food citizenship from this perspective of “citizenship acts”.


Each session in this course will have its own set of required readings, which include both foundational literature and new research perspectives on agricultural and food citizenship. Completing these readings is necessary for all students to contribute to discussion during the seminar meeting. These readings will require a substantial time commitment outside of the meeting hours, so participants will need to budget time accordingly in order to fully participate in the course.

Learning goals

After successful completion of this course participants will:

  • Distinguish different approaches and debates in citizenship studies in general and agriculture and food citizenship in particular
  • Critique understandings of contemporary agriculture and food practices through the citizenship lens
  • Compose a coherent analytical and methodological position with regard to citizenship approaches in agriculture and food


To complete the 3 credits possible for this course, participants will need to:

  • Submit a one-page reflection on the reading for each session before the start of the course
  • Attend and participante in each seminar (barring emergencies)
  • Submit the assignments given at each of the sessions and give feedback to peer assignments

Preliminary schedule

Session 1 6-5-2022 Introduction to the course and debates in agrarian and food citizenship Joost Jongerden/Han Wiskerke
Session 2 9-5-2022 Agrarian Citizenship and social movements Hannah Wittman
Session 3 10-5-2022 Food citizenship and knowledge: science by the people Aya Hiyata Kimura
Session 4 11-5-2022 Excursion
Session 5 12-5-2022 Citizenship, Food Justice, and the Agrarian Question Haroon Akram-Lodhi
Session 6 13-5-2022 Anniversary Conference RSO

Target group and assumed prior knowledge

This course is intended for students doing a research master, PhDs, postdocs, and staff members who want to expand their engagement with the democratization of our agricultural and food practices and the citizenship approach to this. In order to ensure opportunities for full discussions during the sessions, the minimum number of participants is 10 and the maximum 20.

Assumed prior knowledge

Participants should have a master’s in social sciences, political sciences, or geography or be in the final year of their master’s study.

Course fees

WGS PhDs with TSP 315
Other PhDs, postdocs and academic staff 630
Participants from the private sector 900

The course fee includes coffee/tea and lunches, one course dinner, and an excursion

Cancellation conditions

Participants can cancel their registration free of charge 1 month before the course starts. A cancellation fee of 100% applies if a participant cancels his/her registration less than 1 month prior to the start of the course.

The organisers have the right to cancel the course no later than one month before the planned course start date in the case that the number of registrations does not reach the minimum.

The participants will be notified of any changes at their e-mail addresses.