Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Ressourcenökonomie

Special Chair

Sonderprofessur zu “Sozial-Ökonomischen Aspekten von Transformationsprozessen in der Zentral- und Osteuropäischen Landwirtschaft“ an der Universität Wageningen, Niederlande (1994-1999)

Start: 1994

End: 1999

This course which is offered each trimester aims at improving students' understanding of the difficult processes of transformation in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. It may provide those students who are interested in this field of knowledge with a basis of information which enables them to initiate their own studies and to develop projects of their own. In particular, the seminars are oriented toward the following objectives:

  • to become familiar with theoretical approaches which are suitable to analyse the transformation process in agriculture, and with corresponding empirical results;
  • to learn about the concepts and tools developed to shape the transformation process in  agriculture, and about the success or failure of these  instruments;
  • to find ways for dealing actively with the problems of transformation both within the framework of the course and by means of additional activities as well.

The course consists of several elements which are not completely identical every year:

  1. Lectures: An introduction into the main issues, theories, developments and facts of agricultural transformation runs over the three trimesters and will be repeated every academic year.
  2. Country studies: These will provide information on the social and economic situation, historical background, concepts of de-collectivisation and privatisation, and other policies for restructuring and institutional innovation in Central and Eastern European Countries.
  3. Special topics: These will refer to the results of research projects in the area of transformation processes, to important current events and major policy changes in Central and Eastern European Countries.
  4. Participation: Students will be asked to contribute to the course in an active way, i.e. by pre­paring and presenting papers on subjects they choose or by reports about their own experi­ence in Central and Eastern European Countries.
  5. Discussions and planning: Students are encouraged to express their opinions, preferences and wishes, e.g. if they want to gain practical experience or to write their thesis in the field of Central and Eastern European Countries.

According to the sequence of trimesters, the course is usually divided into three components:

First trimester: History and ideology of collectivisation and nationalisation, recent policies of de-collectivisation and privatisation, expected process and desired outcome of transformation and the resulting organisation of farms, determinants of economic and political feasibility of de-col­lectivisation and privatisation, re-establishment of property rights and emerging land markets.

Second trimester: Introduction of market mechanisms, necessity of competitive market institu­tions in the upstream and downstream sectors of agriculture, price information, agricultural market and price policies as a part of the transformation strategy, protectionism or liberalisation of agricultural markets, impact on trade relations, access to the European Union.

Third trimester: The „institutional environment“ of farms in transition, e.g. macroeconomic conditions, political stability and political protection of private agriculture, access to inputs by decentralised marketing channels, self-help organisations like marketing co-operatives, extension and training,  rural banks and co-operative banking, availability of credits, social security system.

Teacher: Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn

Project Partners: Wageningen University and Humboldt University

Coordination at:

  • Wageningen University: Dr. Alison Burrell, Department of Agricultural Economics and Policy, Room 424, Leeuwenborch, 6701 BH Wageningen
  • Humboldt University: Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn Professor, Division of Resource Economics, Philippstr. 13, D-10099 Berlin

Funding: Wageningen University Foundation

Project Website:

Publications and Presentations:

Seminars organized at Wageningen University

Please list from Publications Inventory

Reports delivered to Wageningen University Foundation

Report on Special Chair 1994/95
Report on Special Chair 1996
Report on Special Chair 1997
Report on Special Chair 1998/99