The Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) is a platform of collaboration and outreach for researchers from four chair groups within Wageningen University & Research (WUR), straddling the environmental and social sciences. Including Cultural Geography (GEO), Health and Society (HSO), Rural Sociology (RSO), and Sociology of Development Change (SDC), the aim of the CSPS is to facilitate and advance creative, critical and engaging scholarship within and beyond the social sciences. The CSPS is dedicated to investigating urgent global challenges related to health, poverty, food and environmental degradation. Its work is focused on four research lines: 1) Global one health, 2) Development and transformation, 3) Agriculture, food, ruralities and nature, and 4) Migration, mobility and tourism. 

Through facilitating research collaboration and a range of activities across and beyond the four chair groups, the CSPS investigates dynamics of spatial and social rootedness, connections, and circulations, with special attention to questions of inequality, exclusion, difference and plurality. CSPS aspires to translate this knowledge into practical action in pursuit of a more just and equitable world.

Specific objectives of the CSPS include:

  • Produce high quality and internationally acclaimed conceptual and empirical research, drawing on innovative and transdisciplinary methods and perspectives.
  • Support and encourage collaboration among creative and critical scholars inside and outside of academia, through research, education and exchange activities.
  • Contribute towards positively impacting society not only in terms of advancing knowledge but also ensuring that this knowledge can empower and be of practical and political use to social groups, as well as to draw attention to processes that marginalize and disenfranchise vulnerable people.
  • Facilitate high quality knowledge transfer and collaboration through activities including publication, education, public presentation and outreach, workshops, and conferences.
  • Inspire and nurture budding social scientists and early career researchers, and in doing so contribute towards the development of a dynamic space in which critical social science is practiced, celebrated and supported.

The operations of the CSPS include:

  • Facilitating and funding events and activities promoted by researchers from the four chair groups. Twice a year the steering committee will ask for proposals of these from all researchers. These events and activities can include, but are not limited to:
    • Hosting guest lecturers
    • Themed workshops, writeshops and conferences
    • Writing retreats
    • Joint publications (e.g. special issue of a journal, edited book)
    • Discussion, debating and public sessions
    • Reading groups
    • Acquisition initiatives leading to grant proposals
  • Building a network of interested researchers within and beyond WUR who will be informed about opportunities, activities and events unfolding within CSPS.
  • Hosting an annual lecture, bringing together researchers from the four chair groups and beyond under a particular topic, presented by a leading international scholar in the field.
  • Hosting an annual CSPS day, bringing together researchers from the four chair groups and beyond to explore, discuss and develop potential new avenues to advance social sciences.