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INSPIRA

About us

The research group on Institutional, Socio-economic and Political Issues in Rural-urban Areas (INSPIRA) is part of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University.

The main focus of INSPIRA is the study of rural and urban development processes in the food system. The research group tackles different issues related to food production, security and governance, social and environmental justice, and knowledge and market systems.  Researchers at INSPIRA seek to understand how these issues interact with institutional and socio-economic structures at local, national and international levels and how this affects livelihoods and communities around the world.

We contribute to the broad field of bio-science engineering by integrating different disciplines such as economics, sociology, political science and anthropology. This interdisciplinary approach covers both rural and agricultural as well as urban and metropolitan societies, which is also reflected in the varying academic backgrounds of our  researchers.

Research areas

Research areas

  • Food security
  • Food democracy, food sovereignty and agroecology
  • Food policy and food governance
  • Rural sociology
  • Rural market access, cooperatives and contracts
  • Institutional changes in land, labour and market conditions
  • Agricultural knowledge systems


Education

  • Nutrition and food policy
  • Rural development
  • Development economics
  • Sociological perspectives on agriculture
  • Rural project mnagement
  • Seminars in rural development
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Education

First semester courses

  • Scientific communications in rural development
  • Development economics
  • SDG lab: Economy
  • SDG lab: Sociology
  • Nutrition and food policy

Second semester courses

  • Sustainable food systems
  • Sociological perspectives on  rural development
  • Rural project management

Contact and staff

Marijke D'Haese
Marijke D’Haese is professor in rural development economics. She spent her childhood in Africa and returned to home-country Belgium to study Bioscience engineering at Ghent University...
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Joost Dessein
Joost Dessein (°1971) is associate professor (tenured) at the department of Agricultural Economics (UGent), an affiliated member of the Centre for Sustainable Development...
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Branwen Peddi
Branwen is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Agricultural Economics since November 2019...
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Debella Deressa Bayissa
Debella Deressa Bayissa received a MSc in Development and Rural Innovation from Wageningen University in 2012...
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Helga Gruberg Cazon
Helga is a Bolivian environmental engineer with a Master´s in Development and Rural Innovation from the Wageningen University...
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Ruben Savels
Ruben Savels joined the Department of Agricultural Economics as an assistant in August 2020...
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Fatemeh Taheri
Fatemeh is a PhD student at the Department of Agricultural Economics at Ghent University. She started her doctoral research in 2018...
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Amber Steyaert
Amber started her PhD at the Department of Agricultural Economics in September 2020...
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Zorel Gomez Vargas
Jonas Adriaensens
Jonas is a Belgian PhD student and joined the Department of Agricultural Economics in 2020 through an FWO scholarship...
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Adey Belete Maharie
Adey is an Ethiopian PhD student at the Department of Agricultural Economics...
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Fang Li
Fang joined the Department of Agricultural Economics as an exchange student in December 2016, and registered as a PhD student in 2018...
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Matteo Metta
Matteo started his joint PhD in January 2020 at the Department of Food, Agriculture and Environment at the University of Pisa...
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Willy Désiré Emera
Willy Désiré Emera received his MSc in Development, Environment and Society from Louvain la Neuve in 2016...
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Yemane Asmelash Gebremariam
Yemane is a PhD student at the Department of Agricultural Economics at Ghent University...
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Sara Smaal
Sara started her PhD at the Social Sciences Unit of the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food...
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Estellina Namutebi
Estellina NAMUTEBI (OLGC) is a Doctoral Student of Bioscience Engineering – Socio-economics on BOF Sandwich Scholarship...
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Daniël van der Velden
Daniël received his MSc in Development and Rural Innovation from Wageningen University in 2019...
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