Jessica Duncan is a researcher and educator committed to social-ecological justice. A sought-after public speaker with a strong publication track record, she has also won several awards for her teaching, including Wageningen University Teacher of the Year.
Her work pioneers new ways of understanding and designing food governance processes to support just and sustainable transformations. Bringing together methods and theories from sociology, political science, and futures approaches, she undertakes ethnographically-informed, policy-driven research on the politics of these transformations. To do this, she focuses on dynamics of disagreement and participation in food policy processes, particularly the relationships (formal and non-formal) between governance organizations, systems of food provisioning, the environment, and the actors engaged in and across these spaces. More specifically, she maps the diverse ways that actors participate in policy-making processes, analyzing how the resulting policies are shaped, implemented, challenged, and resisted, and she theorizes about what this means for equitable and just socio-ecological transformation. Participation and engagement are at the core of her approach.
After completing her PhD in Food Policy from the Centre for Food Policy, City University of London (2014), Jessica moved to the Netherlands where she now works as Associate Professor in the Politics of Food Systems Transformations in the Rural Sociology at Wageningen University. Jessica is widely recognized for her expertise on the politics of sustainable food system transition.
She has served as Associate Editor for the journal Food Security and currently sits on the Editorial Board of Sociologia Ruralis. She is a founding member of the Centre for Unusual Collaborations, a project of four Dutch universities committed to strengthening interdisciplinary research for societal impact.
She most recently served as an expert on the EU Standing Committee for Agricultural Research’s (SCAR) 5th Foresight report on Resilience and Transformation across Food Systems.