23 May 2018

Massey links up with Dutch social scientists

Massey social scientists have joined forces with their peers in the Netherlands to tackle global issues such as food shortages and humanitarian aid.

Mordor Accord
Members of the Mordor Accord on the Tongariro Crossing.

Researchers from the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands were hosted by Massey University’s School of People, Environment and Planning earlier this year.

Together, they created and signed The Mordor Accord (referencing the Lord of the Rings film scenery where it was signed) and developed a collaborative workplan addressing issues to do with the environment, food, political economy and development studies.

Massey Professor Glenn Banks, Head of the School of People, Environment and Planning, says the school jumped at the opportunity to work with Wageningen.

“Massey and Wageningen have been working together for a number of years but it is only recently that we started a discussion between social scientists at the two institutions,” he said.

“The main objective of the collaboration is to kick-start joint teaching, research and grant development, and to help strengthen and broaden the relations between the two universities.

“We are also looking to gain from their strength in Latin America and Africa, where they do a lot of work. [In turn], they get a lot from us in the Pacific and Asia where they are looking to expand their research and are seeking networks and joint opportunities."

In future, the partnership will translate into work programmes with joint publications, research grant development and applications, and staff and student visits and exchanges.

Some of these are already underway – a Massey University Sociology PhD student Stella Pennell is leaving in mid-year for a three-month visit to Wageningen as part of her study.

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