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Áine Macken-Walsh

Research Officer

Research Interests

Áine Macken-Walsh is a Senior Research Officer at Teagasc’s Rural Economy and Development Programme (REDP). She is a sociologist, using narrative and action research methodologies to explore farmers’ and other actors’ subjective values, knowledges and practices. She works in transdisciplinary contexts, addressing societal challenges relating to diverse issues such as human cooperation, gender, animal health, and the bioeconomy. She uses sociological insights and participatory methods to support multi-actor co-design of policy and extension interventions.

Áine has been awarded €2.5m in competitive research funding and has published widely. She is a member of the Social Sciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy and Adjunct Lecturer at the School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway.

Current Projects

  • 2018-2020: Principal Investigator: Surveillance, Welfare and Biosecurity of Farmed Animals (transdisciplinary study) (SWAB), Research Stimulus Fund (RSF) of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Ireland.
  • 2018-2020: Task Leader, Improving understanding to Change Safety Behaviours (BeSAFE), RSF of DAFM.
  • 2018-2023: Project partner, WP Leader, Better Rural Innovation: Linking Actors, Instruments and Policies through Networks (LIAISON,) RUR-16. 2017, Horizon 2020. 
  • 2017-2023: Academic Partner, Lead Academic of Project 3.5, Knowledge Hub for a Sustainable Irish Bioeconomy, Platform 3 of the BEACON Bioeconomy Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre.
  • 2016-2020: Project Partner, WP Leader, Short Supply Chain Knowledge and Innovation Network (SKIN), Horizon 2020 (Rural Renaissance - Fostering innovation and business opportunities), European Union.
  • 2016-2020: Project Partner, Task Leader, Cereal Renaissance in Rural Europe: managing diversity in food systems (CERERE), Horizon 2020 (Rural Renaissance - Fostering innovation and business opportunities), European Union.
  • 2016-2020: Project Partner, Task Leader, Building an interactive AgriDemo-Hub community: enhancing farmer to farmer learning (AgriDemo: F2F), Horizon 2020 (Rural Renaissance - Fostering innovation and business opportunities), European Union.
  • 2013-2016: Project Coordinator, Joint Ventures to Enhance the Demographic Profile and Socio-Economic Sustainability of Irish Farming, Joint FIRM/RSF Initiative, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
  • 2013-2016: Principal Investigator, Understanding and Facilitating Farmers’ Adoption of Technologies, Joint FIRM/RSF Initiative, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
  • 2012-2017: Task Leader, ICON-MAP: Multidisciplinary programme to deliver improved diagnosis, on farm strategies, and economic drivers for the control of mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Johne’s Disease) on Irish farms, Joint FIRM/RSF Initiative, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
  • 2012: Principal Investigator, Technical Assistance to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in CAP reform deliberations to examine the potential of an Enhanced Cooperation Measure (Article 36) in the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (2014-2020).

Education

BA Sociology & Political Science (NUI, Galway); MA Human Rights and Democratisation (Padova); Dip. Community Development Practice (NUI, Galway); PhD Sociology (NUI, Galway)

Professional Membership

European Innovation Partnership (EIP) High Nature Value (HNV) Focus Group, European Commission
European Society of Rural Sociology (ESRS)
International Rural Sociological Association (IRSA)

  • Cush, P. and Macken-Walsh, A. (2018, in press) Reconstituting Male Identities through Joint Farming Ventures in Ireland, Sociologia Ruralis, Wiley
  • Hooks, T., Macken-Walsh, Á., McCarthy, O., Power, C., (2018) Farm-level viability, sustainability and resilience: a focus on cooperative action and values-based supply chains, Studies in Agricultural Economics,
  • Hooks, T., McCarthy, O., Power, C., Macken-Walsh, Á. (2017) A Co-operative Business Approach to Values-Based Supply Chain: a case study of a beef cooperative, Journal of Cooperative Organisation and Management, Elsevier
  • Cush, P., Macken-Walsh, A., Byrne, A. (2017) Joint Farming Ventures in Ireland: gender identities of the self and the social, Journal of Rural Studies, Elsevier.
  • McAloon, C., Macken-Walsh, A., Moran, L., Whyte, P., More, S., O' Grady, L., Doherty, M. (2017) Johne’s Disease in the eyes of Irish cattle farmers: a qualitative narrative research approach to understanding implications for disease management. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 04/2017; 141.
  • Hooks, T., Macken-Walsh, A., McCarthy, O., Power, C. (2017) The Impact of a Values-Based Supply Chain (VBSC) on Farm-Level Viability, Sustainability and Resilience: Case Study Evidence. Sustainability 02/2017; 9(2):267.
  • Macken-Walsh, A. (2017) Bridging the ‘Urban-Rural Divide’ in (eds) Healy, S. and Reynolds, B. Society Matters, Social Justice Ireland Dublin. 
  • Macken-Walsh, A. (2016) Governance, Partnerships and Power in (eds) Shucksmith, M. and Brown, D. L. International Handbook of Rural Studies, Routledge.
  • McDonald, R., Macken-Walsh, A. (2016) An Actor-Oriented Approach to Understanding Dairy Farming in a Liberalised Regime: a case study of Ireland’s New Entrant Scheme Land Use Policy, Vol. 58, Elsevier, pp. 537-544
  • Cush, P. and Macken-Walsh, A. (2016) Farming ‘through the ages’: joint farming ventures in Ireland, Rural Society, Vo. 25, Iss. 2, Taylor and Francis
  • Cush, P. and Macken-Walsh, A.  (2016) Cooperation in Irish Agriculture: the potential of Joint Farming Ventures (JFVs), European Countryside, De Gruyter.
  • Furmankiewicz, M., Macken-Walsh, A. (2016) Government within Governance? Polish Rural Development Partnerships through the lens of Functional Representation, Journal of Rural Studies, Vol. 46, 12-22, Elsevier.
  • Furmankiewicz, M., Janc, K., Macken-Walsh, A. (2016) Governance and Rural Development: the emergence of the third sector in rural Poland, Journal of Rural Studies, Vol. 43, 225-234, Elsevier.
  • Furmankiewicz, M., Macken-Walsh, A., Stefańska, J. (2014) Territorial governance, institutional networks and power: the case of cross-sectoral partnerships in rural Poland, Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography, Volume 96, Issue 4, pp. 299–401, Wiley, ISSN: 1468-046.
  • McDonald, R., Macken-Walsh, A., Pierce, K., Horan, B. (2014) Farmers’ Responses to a Deregulated Dairy Regime: insights from Ireland’s New Entrants Scheme, Land Use Policy, Elsevier, Vol. 41, Nov. 2014.
  • Byrne, A., Duvvury, N., Macken-Walsh, A., Watson, T. (2014). Finding  ‘Room to Manoeuvre’: Gender, Agency and the Family Farm, in (eds) Barbara Pini, Berit Brandth, Jo Little, Feminisms and Ruralities, Lexington, December 2014.
  • Macken-Walsh, A. and Curtin, C. (2013) Governance and Rural Development: The Case of the Rural Partnership Programme (RPP) in Post-Socialist Lithuania, Sociologia Ruralis, Vol. 53, Issue 2, pp. 246-264
  • Heanue, K. and Macken-Walsh, A. (2012) Static Structures and Dynamic Processes of Participation and Access: A case study of Connemara Community Radio, Irish Communications Review, 13 (7)
  • Macken-Walsh, A. (2012) Operationalising Contemporary Rural Development: Socio-Cultural Determinants Arising from a Strong Local Fishing Culture, Human Ecology, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 199-211, Springer ISSN: 1572-9915
  • Macken-Walsh, A. (2011) Partnership and Subsidiarity? Exploring the Socio-Cultural Context of Irish Farmers’ Non-Participation in Contemporary Rural Development, Rural Society, Vol. 21, No. 1 ISSN 1037-1656
  • Macken-Walsh, A. (2011) Governance, Rural Development & Farmers’ Participation in Local Food Movements: an Irish case-study, in (eds.) Torre, A., Traversac J.B., Territorial Governance, Rural Areas and Agrofood Systems, Regional Development Series, Springer,  ISBN: 978-3-7908-2421-6.
  • Macken-Walsh, A. (2011) The Potential of an "Agriculture of the Middle" Model in the Context of EU Rural Development, Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Rural Development, Vol. 1 Issue 4 / Spring 2011 ISSN 2152-0801
  • Macken-Walsh, A. (2010) Towards a Transverse Inter-Sectoral Debate? A case study of the Rural Partnership Programme (RPP) in Post-Socialist Lithuania, Eastern European Countryside, Issue 16’2010, Versita, ISSN 1232-885.
  • Macken-Walsh, A. (2009) Community Action in Post-Socialist Lithuania, Journal of Community Development. Vol. 44, No., 4, Oxford University Press.

Justine Deming (2014- 2018) Management of labour tasks and resources to maximize labour productivity, sustainability, and dairy farm profitability, co-supervised by Dr Bernadette O’Brien, AGRIP, Teagasc, Moorepark and Dr Jim Phelan School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin. Funded by Teagasc’s Walsh Fellowship Scheme.

Conor McAloon (2013- completed 2017) Development, Implementation and Evaluation of Management Programmes for the control of Johne’s Disease in Irish Dairy Herds, co-supervised by Dr Paul Whyte, Prof. Michael Doherty, School of Agriculture, UCD. Funded by the Research Stimulus Fund (RSF) of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland.

Teresa Hooks (2013 – completed 2017) A Governance approach to enhancing Farm Viability: the potential of Co-operatives (working title) co-supervised by Dr Olive McCarthy and Prof. Michael Ward, Centre for Cooperative Studies, UCC. Funded by Teagasc’s Walsh Fellowship Scheme.

Patricia O’Flynn (2012 – completed 2016) From Knowledge to Invention: Exploring User Innovation in Irish Agriculture, co-supervised by Dr Chris High, Prof. Andy Lane, Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, School of Engineering & Innovation, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. Four-year PhD project co-funded by Teagasc’s Walsh Fellowship Scheme and the Open University, UK.

Catherine Seale (2012 – completed, 2016) Learning How to Inform Extension Practices Related to Mandatory Agri-Enviornmental Policy, co-supervised by Dr Chris High, Prof. Andy Lane, Dr Martin Reynolds, Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, School of Engineering & Innovation  Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. Four-year PhD project co-funded by Teagasc’s Walsh Fellowship Scheme and the Open University, UK.

Roberta McDonald (2010 – completed, 2013) The evolution of dairy farming systems in Ireland with specific emphasis on the impact of technological adoption among existing and new entrant dairy farmers (working title) co-supervised by Dr Brendan Horan, Moorepark Dairy Production Research Centre, Teagasc and Dr Karina Pierce, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine. Three-year PhD project, co-funded by Teagasc’s Walsh Fellowship Scheme and Allied Irish Bank (AIB). 

Tanya Watson (2008 – submitted 2018) Women’s Narratives – from ‘Rural Women’ to ’Women in the Countryside’? Investigating Women’s Subjectivities, Identities, and Agency for Sustainable Rural Development (working title) co-supervised by Dr Anne Byrne, Dr Nata Duvvury, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI, Galway. Three-year PhD project funded by Teagasc’s Walsh Fellowship Scheme.