Guiding themes

The following themes will guided the conference:

1. Socio-demographic challenges

  • Social inequalities and rural poverty
  • Demographic change (ageing, shrinkage/growth, internal and international migration)
  • Gender roles and role perceptions of men and women


2. Regional disparities, territorial justice and cohesion

3. Rurality/ruralities as narratives, lifestyles and/or practices

4. Governance and policies

  • Multi-level and rural governance, including impacts of European, national and regional policies on rural development
  • Infrastructure, public and private welfare services (co-production, multi-actor service delivery, public-private partnerships)Rural-urban partnerships and linkages


5. Conflicts and actors of rural change

  • New (and traditional) actors in rural areas (e.g. urbanites, refugees, “spatial pioneers”, energy cooperatives, community land trusts, non-agricultural investors on farmland markets)
  • Conflicts due to social, economic and/or landscape change


6. Economic issues of rural development

  • Rural labour markets
  • Smart specialisation and smart countryside (growth and innovation performance, place-based strategies, new technologies)
  • New organisation of economic production (emerging networks, global value chains, tensions between cooperation and competition, prosumers and cooperatives