Call for papers and practical contributions


The Baltic Studies Centre, in cooperation with the Latvian Academy of Culture is organising a scientific and practical conference Alternative food supply networks in Central and Eastern Europe: Towards new grounds for interpretation and collaboration. The conference will take place in Riga, Latvia on 13 and 14 October 2017.

Organisers are inviting researchers from various disciplines (including but not limited to sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and humanities, geography, economics, creative industries and entrepreneurship, environmental studies) and practitioners engaged in alternative food initiatives to submit papers exploring the diversity of non-conventional food practices in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The conference encourages particularly – but not exclusively –discussions on the following issues from theoretical, empirical, methodological, practical and policy-making perspectives:

  • Diversity of alternative food networks (AFNs): responses of alternative food supply networks to  societal demands and challenges, as well as dynamic food system contexts in CEE;
  • Cultural embeddedness: the role of culture, tradition and retro-innovation in maintaining and re-discovering the alternatives to conventional food supply chains; food as a symbol of national/ regional/ ethnic identity; food supply and consumption as experience;
  • Organisation of AFNs: actors of alternative food networks, their motivations, values, business models and organisational/legal incorporation,  and capabilities;
  • Theoretical approaches towards AFNs: strengths and weaknesses of the existing theoretical approaches and conceptualisations; the extent to which theories developed in one context may capture the peculiarities and role of AFNs in different contexts; theory development based on practical examples;
  • Forms of collaboration in AFNs: bottom-up initiatives, horizontal and vertical collaborations, emerging partnerships and institutional arrangements; forms of creative, social entrepreneurship in AFNs;
  • Governance and policy: governance of AFNs, including political recognition and emerging policy frameworks and instruments;
  • Food discourses: shifts in food interpretation discourses and the role of alternative food initiatives in these transformations;

All those interested in participating are welcome to send their submission including their name, institutional affiliation and email address; presentation title, keywords and an abstract of 200-300 words to the following e-mail address:

Submission deadline: 15 June 2017.


You can find more detailed information here.