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Anna-Katharina Demes

Research associate in food sociology


Telephone: +49 (0) 641 99 39311


Zeughaus, Room 418,

Senckenbergstraße 3,

35390 Gießen






PhD project

In response to negative impacts of the agro-industrial food system on our society and environment, a number of Alternative Food Networks have been established. However, these are currently in niches and can accordingly not realise their potential. In order to transform the current food system, these alternatives need to diffuse. Translation and replication strategies are most suitable for their diffusion (Kump/Fikar, 2021). Against this background, this project investigates local transformation projects using the example of food policy councils. Using the method of innovation biography mixed with a qualitative network analysis, case studies on the establishment or expansion of regional value chains will be examined. On the one hand, the objectives and course of the projects will be examined, and on the other hand, the internal working and negotiation processes as well as the people and key figures will be analysed. The aim of the project is to gain insights into the people in a local transformation process as well as insights into the design of local search, innovation and learning processes. Although transformations can be shaped in a targeted and direction-oriented way, they cannot be fully planned and are always linked to innovation, search and learning processes (Grießhammer/Brohmann, 2015), which is why it is important to know and understand these processes.

Research interest

  • human-nature relations
  • transformation and democratisation of the food system
  • imperial way of living and externalisation society
  • social transformation and sustainable lifestyles
  • alternative Food Networks and their Diffusion 
  • food policy councils
  • actors and internal processes, such as cooperation or learning processes in local transformations