Dr Irna Hofman received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree from Wageningen University with a major in Environmental Sciences (specialisation Environmental Policy and Management) and minors in respectively Rural Development Sociology (B.Sc.) and Rural Sociology (M.Sc).
Irna has rich fieldwork experience in Central Asia. Between 2007 and 2009 she was a junior researcher at the Center for Development Research (Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF)), an institute of the University of Bonn. In that position she examined the political economy of rural transformation in Uzbekistan. In 2012 she initiated her Ph.D. research at Leiden University, focusing on the political economy of agrarian change in Tajikistan, which included a study of Chinese farmland investments in Tajikistan. Over the years she has combined her Ph.D. duties with a part-time position as research assistant and lecturer within the BA and MA International Studies at Leiden University. In 2014, she was a temporary research fellow at IAMO, the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies in Halle, Germany, and more recently a research fellow at Leiden University.
Irna has published articles in leading international academic journals and several book chapters. She is a member of the European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS), the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS), and Nedworc Association, a professional network of development cooperation experts. She engages actively in political and societal debates focused on the Chinese presence in the former Soviet Union, sustainable agriculture, developments in the post-socialist realm, cotton production, and the politics of agrarian labour, by publishing short articles in popular media and sharing her opinion and insights using social media.