Michael Kirk is Professor of Development Economics, Agricultural Economics and Cooperation Economics at the Philipps-Universität Marburg. At the same time, he heads the Institute for Cooperation in Developing Countries (IKE) at the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
His research is founded in the analysis of economic institutions. Focal points include the role of rural institutions in the process of development, the effects of globalisation on land/ resource systems and policies as well as the economics of the global commons. The analysis of multi-layer governance aimed at preserving biodiversity, fighting desertification and preventing climatic decay constitutes an additional research area.
The IKE’s regional competences comprise projects that involve a variety of specific topics such as commons management, bio-diversity and rural development in Southern Africa, sustainable cotton production in West Africa, land reforms and the tackling of rural poverty in Cambodia, Laos and Namibia, economic reform processes in the countries of the Near and Middle East as well as (foreign) direct investments in land, the design of new rural contracts and the impact on common property regimes.
Michael Kirk provides consultancy services and policy advice to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), The World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). In addition, he acts as referee for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Volkswagen Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Beratungsgruppe Entwicklungsorientierte Agrarforschung (BEAF) and BMZ. Professor Kirk is also the deputy chairman of the supervision board of the Volksbank Mittelhessen.