Dr. Atakan Büke

Dr. Atakan Büke

Postdoctoral Researcher

Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe)
Nikolaistraße 6-10
04109 Leipzig

Atakan is a Philipp Schwartz Initiative Fellow at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology since 09/2020, and he is affiliated with the Research Center Global Dynamics since 07/2021. He holds a PhD and a master’s degree in Sociology, and has a background of Business Administration (BSc) and Philosophy (minor). The trajectories of agrifood relations at the intersection of history, society, ecology, ethics, politics, culture and economy constitute the core of his research interests. Informed by social theory, development studies and critical agrifood studies, Atakan works especially on the agrarian/peasant question, food regime and agrifood system analysis, and emerging alternative socio-ecological agrifood movements. Together with his mentor Dr. Sarah Ruth Sippel, his current research agenda is trying to understand how ongoing struggles in, through and over the agrifood relations are shaping and being shaped by agrifood digitalization processes.


Professional Career

since 09/2020

Philipp Schwartz Initiative Fellow, Institute of Cultural Anthropology, University of Leipzig

08/2016 – 07/2017

Research Assistant, Van Yüzüncü Yıl University

01/2006 – 08/2016

Research Assistant, Department of Sociology, Middle East Technical University

08/2014 – 08/2015

Visiting Researcher, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University



02/2009 – 12/2018

Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Sociology, Middle East Technical University (Thesis Title: Capitalist Food Regime and the Agrifood Problem: A Critique of Political Economic and Post-Developmentalist Understandings of the Agrarian/Peasant Question)

09/2004 – 12/2008

Master of Science, Department of Sociology, Middle East Technical University (Thesis Title: Globalization, Transnationalization, and Imperialism: Evaluation of Sociology of Agriculture and Food in the Case of Turkey).

09/2002 – 08/2004

Minor in History of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Middle East Technical University

09/1999 – 06/2004

Bachelor of Science, Department of Business Administration, Middle East Technical University

Research Focus

In addition to the developments in fields like chemistry, biology and genetics, recent developments in the agri-food sphere like digitalization, smart agriculture, precision farming, vertical agriculture, and lab-grown food are increasingly making it difficult to associate food with agriculture and rurality. While food is becoming more of an urban-industrial and ‘technical’ issue, rural is being radically reshaped in social, historical, ecological, political, cultural, economic as well as spatial terms. Questions like “what is food?”, “where is rural?” and “what is agriculture?” are emerging as one of the most important socio-ecological challenges of the 21st century. My current research agenda focuses on those agrifood digitalizations that manifest itself as processes of disassociation (and reconstitution) of the socio-historical and ecological ties between food, agriculture, rural, and nature. By situating digitalization processes within the trajectories of capitalist agrifood relations and by conceptualizing them as part of the defining features of the capitalist food regime, I seek to explore their implications for the urban-industrial settings (the food question) as well as the rural-agricultural context (the agrarian/peasant question). The focus of my research is on Turkey to understand how practices as well as discourses, utopias and imaginaries concerning digital agri-food futures are constituting (and being constituted by) a social setting, whose rural is characterized by small-scale agricultural producers on the one hand, and whose urban is characterized by limited economic, financial, infrastructural and technological resources.