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PhD: Navigating Nexus Governance: The Role of Intermediaries in Agrifood System Transitions

PhD Defence, Friday 7 October 2022. Emilia Noel Ptak.

Photo: Emilia Noel Park

Governance of agrifood systems constitutes a nexus of intersecting institutional levels, sectors, and intermediaries operating at different landscape scales. Emilia’s PhD dissertation investigates the role of intermediaries in navigating social factor interplay of sustainability transitions, and the implications for agrifood system governance. Utilizing an interdisciplinary and mixed-methods approach, she examines: 1) nitrate management in local agricultural landscapes of Poland; 2) water governance capacity in Poland and Denmark; and 3) implementing net-zero emissions agriculture to address climate change in Scotland. Her findings reveal insights into the role of intermediaries as central actors that facilitate social capital building, and their potential to function as network integrators. Yet, intermediaries face multiple barriers that constrain their overall ability to facilitate systemic changes for actualizing sustainability transitions of agrifood systems. Her findings conclude that nexus governance is characterized by tension, in which shifting multi-stakeholder network configurations, variegated socio-cultural perceptions, and strained governance capacity, clash.

The PhD study was completed at Department of Agroecology, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday 7 October 2022 at 9:00
Place: Building 22, Lecture Theatre, Foulum, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Blichers Alle 20, 8300 Tjele, Denmark 
Title of PhD thesis: Navigating Nexus Governance: The Role of Intermediaries in Agrifood System Transitions

Contact information: Emilia Noel Ptak, e-mail:eptak@agro.au.dk & eptak22@gmail.com, tel.: +48731682923

Members of the assessment committee:

Professor Birgit Kopainsky, Department of Geography, University of Bergen

Professor Jale Tosun, Department of Political Science, Heidelberg University

Associate Professor Lars Elsgaard (chair), Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University (chair)

Main supervisor:
Professor Tommy Dalgaard, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Post-doctoral researcher Morten Graversgaard, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Senior Researcher Helle Ørsted Nielsen, Department of Political Science and Department of Environmental Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defense is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Technical Sciences/GSTS,

Jens Baggesens Vej 53, build 5221, room 212, 8200 Aarhus N.