Food Sovereignty and Urban Agriculture: understanding interlinkages and exploring implications in the South African context

Doctoral student

Anne Siebert

Thursday 21 Nov 2019, 16:00 - 18:00
PhD defence
Spoken Language
Aula B
International Institute of Social Studies
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Anne Siebert

On 21 November 2019, Anne Siebert will defend her PhD thesis entitled 'Food Sovereignty and Urban Agriculture: Understanding interlinkages and exploring implications in the South African context'

In her thesis, Anne investigate urban food producers’ lived realities and efforts toward food sovereignty in marginalized urban settings. She asks the central questions of why and how urban agriculture initiatives emerge, and whether or not they engage with food sovereignty in the contemporary context of highly exclusionary dynamics in cities and the agri-food system.

The study focuses on South Africa, where, 2018, about 65% of the population were living in cities, and more than 27% were unemployed.

The aim of this study is to explore how urban food producers become active in exposing and fighting inequality. Understanding the mobilization and politicization of urban agriculture initiatives helps to shed light on the multi-dimensional impacts of the commercialized agri-food system on the ground. The study zooms in on the case of an urban agriculture initiative involving diverse urban food producers including backyard gardeners and smallholders rooted in the deprived working class in George, Western Cape, South Africa.

The study ultimately argues that urban agriculture initiatives have the potential to expose inequalities and propose alternatives, both of which are related to food sovereignty.

Doctoral board


Professor Arjun Bedi

Doctoral dissertation supervisors

Professor Pierre Thielbörger, Ruhr University Bochum (Professor Thielbörger will not be present at the ceremony)
Professor Jun Borras, ISS-EUR

Members of the Full Doctoral Committee

Professor Ruth Hall, University of the Western Cape (Professor Hall will not be present at the ceremony. Professor Ben Cousins from University of the Western Cape will replace her)
Dr Chiara Tornaghi, University of Coventry
Dr Yves van Leynseele, University of Amsterdam
Dr Oane Visser, ISS-EUR
Dr Julien-François Gerber, ISS-EUR

More information

The doors will be closed after the start of the Public Defence, but will be briefly opened after the candidate’s introduction to allow latecomers to enter.

Children under 7 years old are not allowed in the Aula during the first part of the ceremony.

The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the Atrium of the ISS.

Professors are invited to join the academic procession.

This Public Defence will be broadcast live via ISS Livestream

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