New President Identifies Priorities for IRSA

Ikegami PhotoProfessor Koichi Ikegami has been elected President of IRSA for 2016-2020. Professor Ikegami is based in the Faculty of Agriculture at Kindai University, Nara, Japan. His scholarly work embraces the areas of food, agriculture, fair trade and community sustainability. He has held many important and influential roles over the past few decades including President of the Asian Rural Sociology Association and President of the Japanese Association for Rural Studies. He has also been a regional representative on the Council of IRSA. He has outlined his vision for IRSA which can read here.

Successful IRSA World Congress 2016

geoffrey-lawrenceA very successful IRSA Congress was held at Ryerson University in Toronto between 10 and 14 August. Over 800 delegate presented at the Congress. Highlights can be found at: http://www.ryerson.ca/arts/irsacongress2016/ . The Congress was opened by Outgoing President, Professor Geoffrey Lawrence who stressed the continuing importance of researching rural issues in an era of urbanisation and globalisation. Click here to read his address.

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Call for Working Groups: ESRS Congress in 2017 in Kraków – Poland

CaptureThe XXVII European Society for Rural Sociology Congress will take place from 24 to 27 July 2017 in Kraków, Poland. The theme of the conference is “Uneven processes of rural change: on diversity, knowledge and justice”.
The Scientific Committee call for working group proposals to be submitted with deadline September 15th 2016.

More details are available on the conference web site.

The International Symposium on work in agriculture 2016

internationalsymposiumThe Maringá State University (in Paraná, Brazil) invites to the International Symposium on work in agriculture 2016, 8.-11. November. The aims of the symposium are to capitalize on knowledge of changes in farming work, to take into account the diversity and dynamics of the forms of work organization in different farming models (family-based, agribusiness, high-tech…), and to reflect on the future of the work of men and women, family workers and paid employees. For further information, please see attached flyer (PDF) or visit the symposium website.

PRESIDENT’S CORNER: Neoliberalism – Growing Resistance?

geoffrey-lawrenceIn the last President’s Corner of 2015 I outlined evidence of the (largely negative) impacts of neoliberalism on farming and rural communities. One issue not covered was that of resistance to neoliberalism. In this President’s Corner I have attached an interesting overview of this issue by leading rural sociologists Professors Alessandro Bonanno (Sam Houston State University) and Steven Wolf (Cornell University). They provide examples of opposition to a corporate-based agri-food system, highlighting the groups which are proposing alternative futures. Their contribution is a background ‘white paper’ for the mini-conference on ‘The New Frontiers of Resistance in Global Agri-food’, to be held at the IRSA World Congress of Rural Sociology in Toronto this August.

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Congratulations to Professor Charalambos Kasimis

grkWell-known European rural sociologist, Professor Charalambos Kasimis, has been appointed Secretary General of Agricultural Policy & Management of European Funds in the Greek government. He is the third in line in the hierarchy of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, after the Minister and the Deputy Minister. He will play an important role in shaping agricultural and rural policy at a critical time for the Greek economy. Professor Kasimis’ brief biography is provided, below.

Charalambos Kasimis is Professor of Rural Sociology at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development of the Agricultural University of Athens and Director of the Postgraduate Studies MSc. Programme “Integrated Rural Development and Management of Rural Space” (2010-2014). He has served as a member of staff at the Department of Economics of the University of Patras (1986-2003) and as the Director of the Institute of Urban and Rural Sociology at the National Centre for Social Research of Greece (1995-2000). His research interests focus upon issues of rural transformation and development in Greece, the Balkans and the Mediterranean region – especially in regard to family farming, employment and rural change. In past  years, the implications of international immigration on rural regions have become one of his main research foci. More recently, he has turned his attention to the study of the implications of the economic crisis upon the rural regions of Greece.