Excellence in Research Grants for RSO and SDC researchers

Published on
March 28, 2019

The Management Board of the Department of Social Sciences awarded Rob Fletcher (SDC), Kees Jansen (RSO), Oona Morrow (RSO), Elisabet Rasch (SDC) and Jeroen Warner (SDC) with an Excellence in Research Grant 2019.

The Department of Social Sciences (DSS) made a budget available for promoting excellence in research in the department in 2019. For granting these funds to the best ideas of DSS researchers the Director of the Social Sciences Group (SSG) asked Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS) to organise a competition. A committee in WASS assessed and ranked the submitted applications and advised the Management Board of the Department.

Below the grant results of the chair groups Rural Sociology (RSO) and Sociology of Development and Change (SDC).

Awarded Research information

Rob Fletcher

The Limits to Tourism Growth and Sustainable Alternatives

WUR Participants: Robert Fletcher (SDC), Stasja Koot (SDC), Rene van der Duim (GEO), Meghann Ormond (GEO), Martijn Duineveld (GEO), Machiel Lamers (ENP), Bas Amelung (ESA)

International Research Collaborators:

Raoul Bianchi (University of East London),Angela Hof (Paris Lodron University Salzburg),Eric Clark and Yahia Mahmoud (Lund University),Macia Blazques (University of the Balearic Islands), Asuncion Blanco, Filka Sepulveda (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Enrique Navarro (University of Malaga)


The research will explore a theme of growing relevance within Europe and beyond: increasing debate concerning so-called “overtourism” in major popular destinations and the growing response to this by local residents often labelled “anti-tourism” or “tourism-phobia.” These dynamics have become a major focus of popular discussion as well as an emerging body of academic research. Specific problems commonly associated with “overtourism” include social issues such as city congestion, noise pollution and rising housing prices, economic issues around growing inequality, as well as environmental issues like waste disposal and contribution to climate change. The initiative proposed here contributes to this research by exploring how policymakers, the tourism industry and local residents are perceiving and responding to issues of tourism development and what actions, strategies and design principles they are putting forward to redress these. In this way, the proposed research will move beyond current critique of tourism overdevelopment and its discontents to highlight ways that this critique can be channelled into innovative mechanisms to manage and potentially limit tourism growth, while also exploring possibilities for sustainable alternatives.

Oona Morrow

Diverse Economies & Arts-Based Methods

Organizers: Oona Morrow, Anke De Vrieze, Chizu Sato

Critical social scientists excel at diagnosing problems. However, we are often ill equipped to engage in the messy, collaborative, and experimental work of imagining and co-creating something different. We lack the tools, language, and methods for communicating these visions to policy makers, practitioners, and the public to achieve impact. Arts-based methods can help social scientists better communicate their findings to policy makers, practitioners, and the public, and spur debate on the most urgent topics of our time.

This workshop brings together leading scientists and artists with shared commitments in the areas of diverse economies, food systems transformation, and the commons. The artists have been selected for their innovative approaches to knowledge production and co-creation, including novel experiments in alternative food economies. Their community-engaged work has broadened the impact of academic research on commons and diverse economies. The social scientists have been selected for their international profile, expertise in diverse economies, participatory and arts-based methods, and their demonstrated experience collaborating with artists.

The workshop aims to develop the relationships, skills, and methods that will foster the development of an imaginative, engaged, and participatory social science at WUR and beyond, and activate a research network of artists and academics that can achieve this by developing joint methods, curriculum, funding applications, and publications. 

Elisabet Rasch

Kees Jansen

Jeroen Warner