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Bernd Bonfert


Bernd Bonfert


Dr Bernd Bonfert is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University.

Bernd holds a dual PhD in Social and Management Sciences from the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University (DK) and the Institute for Management Research at Radboud University Nijmegen (NL). He also holds an M.A. and B.A. in Political Science from the Philipps University Marburg (DE).

Bernd's research revolves around the political economy of socio-ecological transformations and grassroots social movements. He is interested in how communities of active citizens and social enterprises can develop more environmentally sustainable, democratic and socially just alternatives for organising our essential systems of (re)production - and how these alternatives can be expanded and institutionalised at scale.

In his work, Bernd combines a variety of analytical tools, primarily qualitative research methods and international case comparisons. He often utilises semi-structured interviews, participatory observation and document analyses, and has also conducted large-n social network analyses.

Bernd currently conducts research into the governance modes and upscaling possibilities of local energy communities in Northern Europe, as part of the Interreg project 'ACCESS'. He has also investigated how networks of agroecological organisations can help expand short and sustainable food supply chain systems (such as community-supported agriculture), and contribute to changes in agriculture and food policy. For his PhD, Bernd studied the emergence of new European activist coalitions in the wake of the 2008 fiancial crisis and subsequent austerity politics.

Bernd also has substantial teaching experience in Denmark and Germany. Most recently, he has been co-convener of an interdisciplinary postgraduate course on 'Environmental Governance: Political processes and the economic dimension' at Aarhus University. 

Moreover, Bernd is highly active in facilitating exchange within the international academic community, being a board member of the Critical Political Economy Research Network (within the European Sociological Association) and an associate editor of the journal Global Political Economy. He also seeks to build bridges between academia and communities of practice and is therefore involved in the Community Supported Economy (CSX) Network in Germany and the Danish Green Researcher Network.

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