Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES)

About AFES

  • Can we feed the world and achieve economic development while conserving ecosystems and improving the livelihoods of peasants and the rural poor?
  • How do we understand and tackle the interlinked agrarian and environmental crises?
  • What types of policies create sustainable development that guarantees justice, equality and autonomy for poor and marginalized communities?

Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES) offers an interdisciplinary approach – combining political economy, political ecology, and political sociology – to understanding and confronting the impacts of global capitalist development on agrarian structures and environmental systems.

The focus of the AFES Major is on the social, political and economic dynamics of rural and agrarian change and environmental degradation, seen from a wider perspective of rural and rural-urban links, and across the Global South-North divides to include emerging international actors in agro-environmental terrain, such as BRICS.

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Target group

This Major targets professionals and students who have worked on or are interested in rural development and environmental issues. They can be recent graduates, or come from international development agencies, national governments, donor organizations, NGOs, social movements, trade unions, and from wider constituencies such as journalists, community-based workers, and agrarian-environmental activists.

Find out more about the ISS student body

From the AFES team

Message from the Agrarian, Food & Environmental Studies (AFES) Team


Within the MA programme students have an option to specialize in one of our 16 specializations. Take a look at the current specializations on offer.