Conference on knowledge systems in post-Soviet societies

ZEF will host an international academic conference on “Agricultural knowledge and knowledge systems in post-Soviet societies” on September 12 – 13, 2013.

The three main conference themes are:

1. Cultures of knowledge production and sharing in agriculture: How can local epistemic cultures determining the character of the agricultural knowledge systems be assessed and what do they look like? Who are the actors and structures of agriculturally oriented knowledge and innovation development as well as the local channels of innovation diffusion?

2. Local governance arrangements and knowledge production: How is the local production of knowledge, its share and use influenced and stimulated by overall factors, as state legislation, economic incentives or social arrangements? What determines the status of knowledge in a rural community, assuming that knowledge is constantly being shaped and at the same time shaping peoples behavior? How do governance arrangements - including the governance of natural resources of e.g. land and water – enable and constrain the development, mobilization and adaptation of knowledge?

3. Agricultural advisory service development: We wish to analyze the present situation of agricultural advisory services development by examining the role of knowledge in current agricultural production. Do farmers/ farming systems e.g. lack certain types of knowledge, while actively (re-)producing and disseminating others? What prevents them from accessing and using knowledge? Who are the main knowledge providers to farmers during the transition process? What enables and constrains the use of agricultural advisory support services for improved agricultural production?

Target audience

The conference will bring together participants with different disciplinary backgrounds to present empirical and theoretical research papers on the issues of knowledge, innovations, extension, agricultural advisory services and the interfaces of knowledge and governance, as well as agricultural politics towards knowledge creation and dissemination for farmers in Central Asian and Caucasian societies.

Organization and funding

The conference is organized in the context of two research projects at ZEF: One is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and investigates epistemic cultures and innovation diffusion in post‐Soviet Southern Caucasus and Central Asia, focusing on agricultural knowledge systems in Georgia and Tajikistan. The second project is supported by Volkswagen Foundation and looks at the conversion of knowledge in post‐Soviet agriculture and the impact of local governance on the knowledge management of agricultural actors in Tajikistan.

You can download the preliminary Flyer here.


In case of any further questions please contact the organizing team at ZEF:

Research Group on Knowledge and Governance
Anna-Katharina Hornidge
Anastasiya Shtaltovna (contact person: e-mail shtaltov(at)
Andreas Mandler
Tim Röring



Anastasiya Shtaltovna

Dr. Anastasiya Shtaltovna