Farmland, Food and Forests in Transition: The Eurasian countryside 25 years after

Conference Marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

Date: 7 November 2014
Venue: Romanian Academy of Sciences, Bucharest

About the conference

This conference investigates the rural transformation in the post-socialist Eurasian countryside.

The revolutions in the capitals became iconic for the 1989/1991 watershed: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the storming of the Palace of the People in Bucharest or  the siege of Moscow’s White House.

Regarding the post-socialist revolutions and protests again the main cities were in the spotlight; with Kiev’s Maidan square, and the tulip revolution in Tbilisi, Georgia. However, what happened in the countryside during these historical changes?


This conference aims to present cutting edge insights on the changing face of the countryside and the effects of shifting borders in the countryside, drawing on research varying from in-depth case studies to presentations taking a comparative, regional view on Eurasia, and broad analyses linking present developments to socialist and pre-socialist histories.

It aims to bring together people working on farmland, food, forests in national and cross-border contexts, and invites research that looks at those issues from new angles and critical perspectives.

This academic conference also aims to bring in voices from outside academia (e.g. policy, agriculture, rural movements).


  1. The rise of large-scale land investment and land accumulation in farmland and forests. 
  2. Small-scale farmers and their socioeconomic arrangements (such as associations, movements).

The conference starts with plenary presentations, followed by thematic panels with e.g. one focusing on large-scale farmland investment and one on small-scale farming and food.

Full conference details (see Downloads below)

Conference programme and speaker bios

(See Downloads below)

  • The programme
  • The speaker bios

Launch of EURAL

  • During the conference the Eurasian Agrofood and Land initiative (EURAL) will be officially launched. This initiative aims to stimulate research on food and land issues that offers new angles, and bridges divides between academia, policy, practitioners and civil society, as well spatial distinctions such as between Europe and Asia and EU and other Eurasian countries.

It aims to provide a platform with open exchange on the benefits and limitations of current agricultural forms and newly emerging agrarian pathways.

Organizing committee

Oane Visser (ISS)
Stefan Dorondel (F. I. Rainer Institute)
Max Spoor (ISS)

Organizing institutes

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, NL
Fransisc I. Rainer Institute of Anthropology, Bucharest
Eurasian Agrofood and Land initiative (EURAL) in cooperation with LDPI
sponsored by the European Research Council (ERC) grant nr. 313871 and ISS