My research addresses the relationship between economic-geographic globalization processes and local responses, primarily examined through the analytical lens of global value chains (GVCs). I have specialized in agro-industrial value chains that connect producers in the Global South and consumers in the Global North. I consider the economic linkages between agriculture and industry as crucial in a development perspective and strive to understand rural development and agrarian transformation by combining structural (GVC) analysis with livelihood studies. This approach is applied to the study of settlement development and rural-urban relations in rural areas dominated by one particular crop. Furthermore, my research encompasses broader patterns of regional development in the Global South such as the dynamics in rural hinterlands of rapidly growing metropolitan areas. My research also addresses mineral-based GVCs, particularly focusing on small-scale mining in Africa but increasingly also large-scale mining and value chain segments in Europe.
Presently I am engaged in research in South Africa (Socio-economic benefits of ecological infrastructure), Colombia (Aquaponics and livelihoods), and Tanzania (Contract farming). I have also started research in Greenland (The nexus between tourism and exploitation of natural ressources). I am the coordinator of a Danish university consortium who is involved in capacity development of Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania): Finally, I am Task leader in an European-African partnership for coordination of research and innovation in Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA).
I teach courses on globalisation processes, socio-economic dynamics and regional development at both undergraduate and graduate level. I aim to incorporate empirical material from all over the Global South but in particular related to my own specialization, namely agro-industrial value chains in Africa and South East Asia.