Oane Visser is Associate Professor in Agrarian Studies. His research interests revolve around: 1) new (digital) technologies in agriculture and development more broadly, 2) Land, large-scale farming and financialization of agriculture, 3) smallholders, alternative food networks and rural movements. Beyond agriculture, he has published on financialization more generally (e.g. Visser & Kalb 210; Kalb & Visser 2012) and ethnopolitics (Visser & Bakker 2016; Melchior & Visser 2011). Some of his research looks at global processes, while most research is grounded in fieldwork in post-socialist Eurasia (e.g. Russia, Ukraine, Romania) and more recently in the EU (Netherlands), and new projects starting in Ghana, and the US.
Visser earned his PhD in Anthropology from Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Before coming to the ISS, he was assistant professor at subsequently the Department of Research Methods, and the Dept. of Anthropology and Development Studies at Radboud University. He has been visiting fellow at Cornell University (2010, 2014), City University New York (2014), Oxford University (2015) and the University of Toronto (2016). In the past years he won numerous research grants (e.g. from European Research Council (ERC), Land Academy, Toyota Foundation, ISRF).
‘Digital agriculture’, technology and development
Visser’s latest research line is on new digital technologies and development (see recent blogposts by Visser & Medendorp, and Nikam & Visser). He recently co-organized amongst others a hackathon challenge on land grabbing, and a workshop on automation in agriculture, and was a roundtable speaker at the Dutch Agrifoodtech conference 2019. Most of Visser’s current projects focus on the digitalization of agriculture. GPS steered combines, drones making field scans, agronomic advice via smart phones and big data of farming; these are some examples of the recent digitalization of food production. These novel changes constitute Visser’s most recent research line. Various projects investigate the overall topic of benefits and limitations of these new technologies, and the socio-economic consequences and responses. Fieldwork is conducted in some of the major countries involved digital farming; the EU, Australia (by collaborator Sarah Sippel) and an emerging economy (Russia). A Toyota Foundation funded project (2018-2021), with Sippel, investigates the new values, forms of cooperation, and interaction that are emerging in the context of this digital ‘agrarian revolution’. It builds on earlier work on cooperation within agriculture (e.g. Kurakin & Visser 2017, Visser 2005). Meline Khachatryan and Louis Thiemann are involved in these projects. A project with ISS-colleague Karin Siegmann studies effects of the rise of digital farming for labour, in particular migrant workers. A newly commenced project (with Fabio Gatti) studies digital agriculture in Africa (Ghana). A recent project (2020-2021) funded by the UK-based ISRF explores newly arising forms data activism and data movements by farmers in the EU and North-America.
Land, large-scale farming and financialization
This constitutes an ongoing line of inquiry, globally and particularly in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries. Visser organized various international conferences on financialization of agriculture, and edited two special issues on the theme (Visser, Clapp & Isakson 2015, Clapp, Visser & Isakson 2017). Based on various grants he was awarded as Principal Investigator (e.g. a Land Academy grant, ERC grant 2013-18) he publishes widely on farmland investments (or land grabbing), see e.g. Kuns, Wastfelt & Visser 2016, Visser, Mamonova & Spoor 2012, 2014, 2015, Visser 2017, Visser, Kurakin & Nikulin 2019).
On land transformations more generally, Visser organized various international workshops, and published widely on land reforms and farm restructuring (e.g. Visser & Spoor 2004, 2019, Visser 2006). Visser is also increasingly interested
P Jehlicka, M Grivins, Oane Visser & B Balazs (2020) - Thinking food like an East European: A critical reflection on the framing of food systems - Journal of Rural Studies, 76, 286-295 - doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.04.015
I (Irna) Hofman, Oane Visser & A Kalinovsky (2020) - Encounters after the Soviet collapse: The contemporary Chinese presence in the Former Soviet Union border zone - Problems of Post-Communism, 67 (3), 193-203 - doi: 10.1080/10758216.2020.1746912
Oane Visser (2012) - Property and post-communist poverty. Can the mystery of property be exported to the farmer Soviet countryside - Focaal. Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, 41, 197-202
Oane Visser, Natalia Mamonova & Max Spoor (2012) - Oligarchs, megafarms and land reserves: understanding land grabbing in Russia - Journal of Peasant Studies, 39 (3-4), 899-931
Oane Visser & L Schoenmaker (2011) - Institutional transformation in the agricultural sector of the former Soviet bloc. Decollectivisation in Mongolia's countryside in comparison with Russia - Eastern European Countryside
I Melchior & Oane Visser (2010) - Voicing past and present uncertainties: The relocation of a Soviet world war II memorial and the politics of memory in Estonia - Focaal. Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, 59, 33-50
Oane Visser (2004) - De Russische boer houdt vast aan collectief bedrijf - Geografie (Kon.Ned.Aardrijkskundig Genootschap), 17 (7), 30-33
Max Spoor & Oane Visser (2004) - Restructuring Postponed? Large Russian Enterprises 'Coping with the Market' - Journal of Peasant Studies, 32 (2), 515-551
Max Spoor & Oane Visser (2001) - The State of Agrarian Reform in the Former Soviet Union - Europe-Asia Studies (Former Soviet Studies), 53, 885-901
KA (Karin Astrid) Siegmann, P. (Petar) Ivosevic & A (Oane) Visser (2021) - Working like machines - International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Oane Visser (15 December 2014) - From food security to food sovereignty (in Russia) - produced by the Sacharov centre, Moscow
Oane Visser (31 July 2014) - Consultation/Interview for Al Jazeera TV International, on Ukraine crisis & sanctions against Russia, July 31 2014. - TV interview
Oane Visser (1 January 2014) - in: J. Jeroense & T. Overduin (ed.) Het nieuwe Heilig. Op zoek naar hedendaagse inspiratie. Skandalon Publishers. - in: J. Jeroense & T. Overduin (ed.) Het nieuwe Heilig. Op zoek naar hedendaagse inspiratie. Skandalon Publishers.
Oane Visser (2020) - Technological change and migrant farm workers in Dutch horticulture - ISRF online workshop
Oane Visser (2020) - Who benefits from digital transformation? A cross-country comparison along the value chain - IAMO Forum 2020; Digital Transformation towards sustainable food value chains in Eurasia
A Ferent & Oane Visser (2020) - Impacts of technological change on CEE agricultural labor migrants in Dutch horticulture - IAMO Forum 2020; Digital Transformation towards sustainable food value chains in Eurasia
Oane Visser & Meline Khachatryan (2020) - Emergence of digital technologies in Russian farms - IAMO Forum 2020; Digital Transformation towards sustainable food value chains in Eurasia
Oane Visser (2019) - New digital farm technologies. Exploring bottom-up innovations in data & technology for smaller farms - IAMO Forum 26-28 June
Oane Visser (2019) - Land grabbing and new digital technologies - EuroDIG conference 'Cooperating in the digital age'
Oane Visser (2019) - Robots, migrant workers and LED-lightened tomatoes: Impacts of Technological change in Dutch agriculture for CEE Migrant workers - guest lecture
P Ivosevic, Karin Astrid Siegmann & Oane Visser (2018) - People as Robots? Exploring the effects of technological changes in the Dutch agro-food sector on Central & Eastern European migrants - international workshop 'Technological change in the agro-food sector in the Netherlands. Mapping the the role & responses of Central & Eastern European Migrants
Oane Visser (2018) - Large-scale farms: for profit and society? - IAMO Forum
B Kuns & Oane Visser (2018) - A critical comparative history of agroholding farms in Russia and Ukraine - IAMO Forum
Oane Visser (2018) - Agroholdings and digital farm technologies in Russia: opportunities and challenges. - IAMO Forum
Oane Visser (2018) - From soviet symbiosis to Corporate Social Responsibility? Large-scale farms and smallholders in Russia - international workshop 'Land, Farms and Social Protection in Post-Socialist Eurasian and Beyond'
P Jehli?ka, B Balázs, M Gr?vi?š & Oane Visser (2018) - Thinking food like an East European: a critical reflection on the framing of food systems - paper presented at the conference POLLEN18 ‘Political Ecology, the Green Economy, and Alternative Sustainabilities’
A Hajdu & Oane Visser (2018) - Financial asset, estate, or farm? A genealogy of land imaginations, farm models and images of ‘the investor’ in Romania - international workshop ‘Constructions, representations, productions: Exploring historical and contemporary Land imaginations’
Oane Visser (2018) - The remarkable persistence of farmland imaginaries against all (ecological and economic) odds: The case of the celebration of the black earth soil during various investment waves in Russia - international workshop ‘Constructions, representations, productions: Exploring historical and contemporary Land imaginations’
Oane Visser (2016) - Black earth bonanza? Soil, soul and depth in large-scale farmland investments in Russia and Ukraine - Agrarian studies colloquium Yale University (invited lecture)
Oane Visser (2016) - Separating the soil. Black Earth Narratives, geopolitics and the symbolical dimensions of farmland investment in Russia and Ukraine - Geography seminar, University of Western Ontario, Canada (invited lecture)
Oane Visser (2016) - Farmland moves. Black earth narratives, geopolitics and the symbolical dimensions of farmland investment - lecture Development seminar, University of Toronto (invited lecture)
Oane Visser (2016) - Farmland moves. Black earth narratives, geopolitics and the symbolical dimensions of farmland investment - Food Studies seminar, University of Waterloo, Canada (invited lecture)
B Kuns, Oane Visser & A Wastfelt (2015) - Swedish Black Earth: The trial and tribulations of investor-led, stock listed companies in Russia and Ukraine - ICAE 2015 Pre-Conference Workshop on agro-holdings and other types of mega-farming operations
Oane Visser (2015) - How pervasive is the land rush? Finance, land values and the instability of farmland investmen - LANDac conference
B Kuns, Oane Visser & A Wastfelt (2015) - Scandinavians on the Eastern Steppe: the trials and tribulations of the Western investor-led, listed farming model - Landac conference
B Kuns, Oane Visser & A Wastfelt (2015) - Swedish Black Earth. The trials and tribulations of investor-led, stock listed Western farm companies in Russia and Ukraine - International workshop 'A study in resource making: The financialisation of food and agriculture'
Oane Visser, N Mamonova, Max Spoor & A Nikulin (2015) - Quiet food sovereignty. On the hidden sustainability, productivity and sociality of smallholders in Russia - BASEES Conference
Oane Visser (2014) - The Russian path of agrarian development and food security from a global perspective. Invited speaker. - conference ‘GMO agriculture, ecological farming and food security’ [in Russian]
Oane Visser (2014) - ‘Farmland investment in Eastern Europe: Discourse and Practices’ - 11th Congress of the Romanian Association of Social and Cultural Anthropology
B Kuns, Oane Visser & A Wastfelt (2014) - ‘Swedish Black Earth: The Trials and Tribulations of the Western investor-led listed farming model’ - ISS/EURAL Conference ‘Farmland, Food and Forests in Transition: The Post-socialist Eurasian countryside 25 years after’
A Hajdu & Oane Visser (2014) - ‘Land investment in Romania; drivers, patterns and responses’ - ISS/EURAL Conference ‘Farmland, Food and Forests in Transition: The Post-socialist Eurasian countryside 25 years after’
Oane Visser (2014) - Boardrooms, stock exchanges and farm fields. Analyzing investor-led farming - Invited speaker - Mapping the Global Food Landscape,
Oane Visser (2014) - ‘When Wall street bankers enter wheat farming. The global farmland rush and the impact of investor-led farming’ - Invited speaker. - Lecture, Telluride House, Cornell University
Oane Visser (2014) - ‘Farmland Investment in the Post-Socialist Countryside: Investment Practices and Discourses in the Black Sea Region’ - EASA bi-annual international conference
Oane Visser & M Steggerda (2014) - ‘Land Investment, Labour and the Export of Farm Models. Frictions Emerging from Western Involvement in Russian Agriculture’ - international conference ‘Finance, Food and Farmland’
Oane Visser (2019) - Smallholders and food provisioning in Central & Eastern Europe: Quietness, Resilience & Politics - ‘Looking beyond the European CAP: How can human rights prevail economic interests in public policies for food and agriculture? organized by Ecoruralis and European Coordination La Via Campesina
Oane Visser (2012) - Visser, O. (2012) ‘Large-scale land acquisitions by foreign investors in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan’ - Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, Green Week Berlin, Messe, 20 January. Invited lecture (in Panel with high-level policy makers & investors) .
Oane Visser (2002) - Focaal. Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology (Journal)
Oane Visser (2001) - Focaal. Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology (Journal)