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"Inequality and Diversity in European Rural Areas"

CAS 12/04/2011

The XXIV European Society for Rural Sociology Congress
"Inequality and Diversity in European Rural Areas"
22-25 August 2011, Chania, Greece

The conference (http://esrs2011.maich.gr/) will provide important opportunities for rural social scientists to explore new evidence and approaches to understanding rural diversity and inequality. It will seek to pose new questions around both traditional and emerging conflicts. The conference will reflect work within and between the following four themes:

* Growing inequalities at the global scale
* The multidimensionality of inequality and the importance of diversity
* Diversity in space and rural areas
* Diversity and inequality – Implications for the governance of European States and Institutions


* Natalija Bogdanov, University of Belgrade
* Andrea Segrè, University of Bologna
* Matteo Vittuari, University of Bologna


The development and the European integration process which has been followed in the past decade by the Central-Eastern European Countries (CEECs) can be considered as an important milestone for the Western Balkans (WBs). At the same time the Enlargement in 2004 and the one in 2007, that included also part of South Eastern Europe (SEE), have created a political, economical and social pressure towards the integration of the WBs in the Enlarged Europe.

The seven countries of Western Balkan (Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99, Montenegro and Serbia) present significantly differences within their rural space, agricultural sector, economic development and EU accession status (candidates or potential candidates). Meanwhile, also considering the European perspective, the WB area shows strong historical shared features and a common (and consequent) geo-political development as in the case of other large (and heterogeneous) macro-areas (i.e. Mediterranean, Baltic space or Scandinavia). The countries of this region also show strong interdependencies both in terms of trade and economic relationships and in terms of political and cultural connections.

Out of historical, geographical and economical reasons, land represents a crucial resource for the Western Balkans and more in general for whole South Eastern Europe (SEE) so that agricultural and rural policy will play a key role in the region considering that a major attention within the CAP post 2013 debate has been given to high nature value farming, land management, biodiversity preservation, public goods and capacity building. Furthermore the reduction of the urban – rural divide in terms of services, infrastructures and entrepreneurial opportunities should be one of the main objectives /aimed at/for the promotion of social and political stability.

The working group focuses on the analysis of social and economical transformations of agricultural and rural areas in South Eastern Europe taking into consideration the main drivers of change and aiming at offering a representation of the diversity that characterizes the region. Interested contributors are requested to focus on:

* poverty and socio-economic security;
* labor and entrepreneurship;
* effectiveness and sustainability of sectoral and territorial policies in promoting the modernization process in agricultural and rural areas;
* agricultural and rural policy of WB countries towards EU accession: politics vs policy;
* role of local communities and strategies for the valorization of territorial capital;
* economic diversification and rural non-farm economics;
* challenges and opportunities of adopting the EU acquis communautaire taking into consideration the CAP post 2013;
* role of international donors;
* role of knowledge and information;
* impact, challenges and opportunities related to the world economic crisis.

Important Dates

Registration deadline: July 1st, 2011

Submission deadline for abstracts: April 30th, 2011

The Abstract submission form, available as Ms Word file or as PDF file, must be sent by email to the convenors (http://esrs2011.maich.gr/wp_list.html) AND to the following e-mail address:

Full papers should be sent also, by email to .

For more info please contact prof. Gianluca Brunori at .

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