The Politics of Life

The Politics of Life research cluster brings together a variety of academic researchers and PhD candidates from different disciplines and fields at Wageningen University, under the umbrella of the Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS).


Qualifying life and identifying they ways in which we value life – whether human or non-human – at any scale, is inherently political. Recognising that the power and potential of life in its myriad forms is constantly being managed and disciplined, recognised and retooled, enabled and disabled, members of this cluster engage with the politics of life from multiple critical theoretical perspectives, and diverse empirical points of entry (e.g., migration, mobility, tourism, debility and disability, health and social care, international development, agriculture, food, resources, energy, wildlife conservation, etc.).

This cluster provides a forum for cross-disciplinary interactions between those who take up the politics of life in their research. Through meetings, workshops, seminars and other such events, it provides a platform for scholars engaging in the study of biopolitics and bio-power to meet, exchange ideas, and undertake new initiatives.

Contact persons:

Claudio Minca Jessica Duncan


WUR Faculty

Dr. Olivia Ange (SDC)

Biodiversity, seeds, values, heritage, companion species, happiness

Dr. Alberto Arce (SDC)

Agrofood studies, sustainable development, bio-politics and bio-power, social, natural and political assemblages, development anthropology, agency, new materialities, intersubjectivities, habits, ontology

Prof. Bram Buscher (SDC)

Life, capital, development, environment, politics, political economy

Dr. Karolina Doughty (GEO)

Interactions between health/wellbeing and place, the politics of the senses, soundscapes, everyday mobilities

Dr. Clemens Driessen (GEO)

Human-animal relations, animal politics & ethics, nature conservation, agriculture, hybrid geographies

Dr. Jessica Duncan (RSO)

Food policy, global governance, food security, participation, environmental sustainability, post-political

Dr. Joost Jongerden (RSO)

Socio-spatiality, assemblies, citizenship, subversion, autonomy, Middle-East

Prof. Claudio Minca (GEO)

Biopolitics, camps, spatial theory and questions of life

Dr. Meghann Ormond (GEO)

Transnational health and social care mobilities, migration, ageing and longevity, Southeast Asia

Dr. Karin Peters (GEO)

Migration, processes of inclusion and exclusion, public spaces and leisure

Dr. Esther Veen (RSO)

Urban agriculture, community gardening, food sociology

Dr. Gerard Verschoor (SDC)

Human-environment relations; Indigenous peoples; multiple realities; ontological politics; actor-network theory

Dr. Pieter de Vries (SDC)

Biopolitics, slum politics, communist desire, enjoyment as a political category

Prof. Han Wiskerke (RSO)

Rural sociology, food sociology, food policy, urban-rural relations, city-region food systems


PhD Candidates

Carolina Berget (SDC)

Envirmental history, tropical deforestation, colonization processes, assemblages

Britt Broekhaus (SDC)

Food innovation, technology, political economy, sustainability, green capitalism

Pieternel Cremers (GEO)

Tourism, disability, participation, governmentality, citizenship

Eugenie van Heijgen (GEO)

Landscape, animal-human relationships, historical geography, hunting

Maite Hernando Arrese (SDC and RSO)

Energy security, water, rural development, sociology, participatory action research

Peter Kruizinga (GEO)

Health policy, public health, health tourism, well-being and place

Trista Chih-Chen Lin (GEO)

Feminist biopolitics, development aid and social programs, geographies of children and youth, care and responsibility

Kelli Rose Pearson (RSO)

Art & culture, ecological self, mindsets of sustainability, leadership, placeshaping

Francisca López Regalado (SDC)

Public coastal issues, coastal Governance, public/political assemblages, political ontology

Oscar Reyna Jimenez (SDC and RSO)

The ontology of mining and minerals, extractivism, inter-species relations, anthropology, environmental humanities

Marisol Reyna (SDC and RSO)

Food security, food sovereignty, sustainable development, public policy, ontologies

Alexandra Rijke (GEO)

Walling, assemblage thinking, Israel-Palestine, (new)materialities, porosity/fixity

Nicolas Vasconcellos Fernandez (SDC and RSO)