School of Economics

Centre for European Agri-Environmental Studies

About the Centre

Field with marginThe Centre for European Agri-Environmental Studies (CEAS) has a long history of participating in policy debate in Europe and enhancing research of a European dimension. The idea for the originally-named Centre for European Agricultural Studies arose in 1971 in the School of Agricultural Economics, Wye College, University of London. Its rationale was that as the UK joined the European Common Market, agricultural affairs in Britain would be heavily influenced by the Common Agricultural Policy. It was considered important that there should be an independent centre of research excellence, which would focus on the implications for UK food, farming and rural communities of the important new policy directions.

The purpose of the Centre, stated in the appeal document, was to offer "To agriculture and industry...research and investigation programmes, opportunities for bringing together British and European farmers, business executives, politicians, administrators, scientists and academics...a point of reference for authoritative discussion about current developments in European agriculture." This appeal, launched in 1974, raised £463K to endow the Centre's research activities.

In subsequent decades, CEAS enrolled a succession of fellows, scholars, and research associates to undertake research on European agriculture. Over these years, CEAS also provided funding to organise policy events of international standing, to assist PhD students participate in international academic events and to enable academics to be involved actively in the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE).

Following the changes in the emphasis of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and consumer concerns, in 2000 CEAS was renamed the Centre for European Agri-Environmental Studies. Since 2006, CEAS has been a Centre of the University of Kent.

CEAS has been run under the honorary directorship of academics with an international profile in the area of agri-environmental studies. The current Director is Sophia Davidova, Professor in European Agricultural Policy and the Deputy Director is Dr Alastair Bailey, Reader in Agricultural Economics, both from Kent's School of Economics.



  Name Title
Prof Sophia Davidova

Professor Sophia Davidova

Professor of European Agricultural Policy
Dr Alastair Bailey

Dr Alastair Bailey
Deputy Director

Reader in Agricultural Economics


  Name Title
Prof Iain Fraser Professor Iain Fraser Professor of Agri-Environmental Economics
Dr Adelina Gschwandtner Dr Adelina Gschwandtner Lecturer in Economics
Dr Matloob Piracha Dr Matloob Piracha Senior Lecturer in Economics

Professional fellows

  Name Title
Ulrike Hotopp Dr Ulrike Hotopp Chief Economist at Simetrica, London
Honorary Professor of Economic Policy at the School of Economics, University of Kent
Dr Hannah Chaplin Senior Economic Advisor, UK Government Investments (ukgi)

Academic fellows

  Name Title
Prof Rob Fraser Professor Rob Fraser Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Economics, School of Economics, University of Kent
Prof Monika Hartmann Professor Monika Hartmann Professor for Agricultural and Food Market Research, Institute for Agricultural Policy, Market Research and Economic Policy, University of Bonn
Dr Stefan Hirsch Dr Stefan Hirsch Research Associate, Department of Agricultural and Food Market Research, University of Bonn
Prof Alexandre Nicolella Professor Alexandre Nicolella Professor of Economics, University of São Paulo
Dr Denys Nizalov Dr Denys Nizalov Assistant Professor, Kyiv Economics Institute/Kyiv School of Economics



Recent projects

Recent and currently funded research include:

  • An integrated risk-based approach to the control of Salmonella in the UK pig farms (DEFRA) Designing and implementing large-scale experiments in land (RELU)
  • Econometrics approaches for the food campaign analysis: the case of the 5 a day campaign and the salt campaign (FSA)
  • Impact of decoupling and modulation on the enlarged EU (EU FP6)
  • Overcoming market and technical obstacles to alternative pest management in arable systems (RELU)
  • Structural change in agriculture and rural livelihoods (EU FP6)
  • Comparative analysis of factor markets for agriculture across the Member States (EU FP7)

Enterprise activities

Wheat FieldImportant activities of the CEAS are to disseminate research results to the policy community and to influence thinking about the future of food and agri-environmental policy in the UK and Europe. To this end, members of CEAS have been members of advisory committees in different institutions, professional associations and executive committees:

  • Davidova, S.: EU-DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Network for Rural Development, EAAE, EuroChoices, UK Agricultural Economics Society President 2011-2012
  • Fraser, R.: FSA, Defra, Science Advisory Council, UK Agricultural Economics Society
  • Bailey, A.: Defra

Recent reports and publications

  • Davidova S and Kostov P, "A quantile regression analysis of the effect of farmers' attitudes and perceptions on market participation", Journal of Agricultural Economics, 64 (1), 112-132, 2013.
  • Davidova S, Sauer J and Latruffe L, "Determinants of smallholders' decisions to leave land fallow: the case of Kosovo", Journal of Agricultural Economics, 63 (1), 119-141, 2012
  • Davidova S, Fredriksson, L, Gorton, M., Mishev P and Petrovici D, "Subsistence farming, incomes and agricultural livelihoods in the New Member States of the European Union", Environment and Planning C: Government and policy, 30, 209-227, 2012.
  • Davidova S, "Semi-subsistence farming: an elusive concept posing thorny policy questions" (Presidential address), Journal of Agricultural Economics, 62 (3), 503-524, 2011.
  • Davidova, S, "Semi-subsistence farming in Europe: An elusive concept posing thorny policy issues", Presidential Address, 85th Annual AES conference, Warwick, April 2011
  • Davidova, S, "Semi-subsistence farming in Europe: Concepts and key issues", background paper prepared for the European Network for Rural Development seminar Semi-subsistence farming in the EU: Current situation and future prospects, Sibiu, Romania, October 2010

CEAS members have also contributed publications in the European policy outreach journal EuroChoices:

  • Fraser, I. and Fraser, R., Targeting monitoring resources to enhance the effectiveness of the CAP EuroChoices 4(3):22-27 (2005)
  • Davidova, S. (with Gorton, M.), Farm performance, direct payments and EU enlargement EuroChoices 3(1):32-36 (2004)
  • Davidova S. (with Blandford, D. and Boisvert, R.), Infrastructure and rural development: US and EU perspectives EuroChoices 7(1):52-38 (2008)

Workshops and conferences

Future events

Past events

School of Economics, Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP

Undergraduate enquiries: +44 (0) 1227 827497, Postgraduate enquiries: +44 (0) 1227 827440 or email us

Last Updated: 21/03/2017