dr. (Oane) A Visser


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

International Institute of Social Studies

Associate professor | Academic staff unit
Kortenaerkade 12, 's - Gravenhage


  • Oane Visser (15 december 2014) - From food security to food sovereignty (in Russia)
  • Oane Visser (31 juli 2014) - Consultation/Interview for Al Jazeera TV International, on Ukraine crisis & sanctions against Russia, July 31 2014.
  • Oane Visser (1 januari 2014) - 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
  • A Ferent & Oane Visser (2020) - Impacts of technological change on CEE agricultural labor migrants in Dutch horticulture
  • Oane Visser (2020) - Who benefits from digital transformation? A cross-country comparison along the value chain
  • Oane Visser & Meline Khachatryan (2020) - Emergence of digital technologies in Russian farms
  • Oane Visser (2019) - New digital farm technologies. Exploring bottom-up innovations in data & technology for smaller farms
  • Oane Visser (2019) - Land grabbing and new digital technologies
  • Oane Visser (2019) - Robots, migrant workers and LED-lightened tomatoes: Impacts of Technological change in Dutch agriculture for CEE Migrant workers
  • Oane Visser (2019) - Smallholders and food provisioning in Central & Eastern Europe: Quietness, Resilience & Politics
  • 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
  • Oane Visser (2018) - Large-scale farms: for profit and society?

4240 Agrarian and Food Politics

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4390 AFES: Working towards the RP

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3105 Research Paper Preparation

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5401 Research Paper

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General Information

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Major AFES

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Board of Examiners

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4150 Political Economy

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News regarding dr. (Oane) A Visser

Interview met dr. Oane Visser over het graan akkoord tussen Rusland en Oekraine

Oane Visser praat over het akkoord tussen Oekraïne en Rusland over graan export die beide partijen getekend hebben in Instanbul.
Wheat field

“Qua duurzaamheid en het voeden van de gehele wereld zijn de mogelijkheden van technologie in de landbouw enorm. Maar er zijn ook gevaren”

Wat betekenen nieuwe digitale technologieën in de landbouw voor ons voedselsysteem en voedselvoorziening voor de toekomst? Daarnaar doet Universitair…

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