Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

MA in Development Studies, Major in Agrarian, Food & Environmental Studies (AFES) at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, one of Europe’s leading centres for international development studies
17 July 2013

Dutch government scholarships available for applicants from South Africa! Please take note of the deadline for application (December 2013).

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 & Environmental Studies (AFES – formerly AES) 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 South-North divides to include emerging international actors in agro-environmental terrain, such as BRICS.

The focus of the Major is on the social and political processes around the dynamics of agrarian change, rural-urban poverty and environmental degradation, (inter-) governmental intervention, and emerging popular alternatives such as food security/sovereignty and agroecology and the (trans)national social movements that spearhead these. It offers a balance between theory, policy and practice. Specifically, the Major addresses themes including: land and land grabbing, water and natural resources use, access, property relations & conflict; climate change, environmental degradation; and extraction, use, management, and distribution of natural resources; rural poverty, social exclusion and marginalization; emerging popular alternatives such as food sovereignty and agroecology; as well as global agrarian and environmental politics, including (trans)national agrarian and environmental justice movements as well as food movements.

After completing the Major, participants will have developed a critical understanding of key processes facing the agricultural and rural sectors and the livelihoods of rural people, as well as the structures and processes that influence sustainable development. They will be familiar with useful tools in analyzing policies and strategies of governments, NGOs, social movements and private companies.

Whether you are a university lecturer, NGO professional, social movement activist, government ministry official or indeed, fresh from your undergraduate studies, from the South and North, if you are interested in some of the most critical and important global burning issues confronting humanity today - food and energy crises, climate change and environmental degradation, justice and conservation, land grabbing and biofuels, agrarian justice movements, land and conflict, resource conflict, mining and other extractive industries, rural-urban inequalities, rural poverty, food justice movements, emerging popular policies such as REDD+, carbon trading, emerging initiatives around popular initiatives such as food sovereignty and agroecology – AES will be an internationally cutting edge and exciting place for you.

There are various scholarships available for MA (and PhD) students, especially for applicants coming from the South, including the Dutch government NFP scholarship (see list of countries below), the World Bank, among others. Please refer to the appropriate homepage in the ISS website for information about these scholarships. For applicants coming from Europe, North America, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, there are some limited partial scholarships available too (please refer to the appropriate ISS homepage, look for Excellence Award and Hardship Award). The MA programme timeframe is 15.5 months, although one has the option to stay in The Hague only for the duration of the course work which is 10 months.

For details of the application process, go to:

Please note: the deadline for those applying for the Dutch government (NFP) scholarship is December 2013.

For further information on AFES, go to:

For further information on academic matters, please feel free to get in touch with us through

To be eligible for an NFP fellowship, you just be a national of, and working and living in, one of the 62 countries listed below:

  • Afghanistan
  • Eritrea
  • *Nicaragua
  • Albania
  • Ethiopia
  • Nigeria
  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Pakistan
  • Autonomous
  • Palestinian
  • Territories
  • Ghana
  • Peru
  • Bangladesh
  • Guatemala
  • Philippines
  • Benin
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Rwanda
  • Bhutan
  • Honduras
  • Senegal
  • Bolivia
  • India
  • South Africa
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Indonesia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Brazil
  • Iran
  • Sudan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Ivory Coast**
  • South Sudan
  • Burma/Myanmar
  • Jordan
  • Suriname
  • Burundi
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Cambodia
  • Kosovo
  • Thailand
  • Cape Verde
  • Macedonia
  • Uganda
  • Colombia
  • Mali
  • Vietnam
  • Costa Rica
  • Moldova
  • Yemen
  • Cuba
  • Mongolia
  • Zambia
  • DR Congo
  • Mozambique
  • Zimbabwe
  • Ecuador
  • Namibia
  • Egypt
  • Nepal
  • El Salvador

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