Multiple knowledges and diversifying rural change


Prof. Imre Kovach, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Sociology, Budapest

Dr.  Eifiona Thomas Lane, Bangor University, Wales

Prof. Karl Bruckmeier, National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Department of Sociology, Moscow

Prof. Ana Velasco Arranz, Polytechnic University of Madrid


for sub-theme 1:

for sub-theme 2:


The overarching topic of this working group is uneven and diversifying rural change and the factors influencing change processes, especially knowledge forms of rural and non-rural actors in diverse places and spaces in European areas developing under the influence of global processes. Theoretical, methodological or empirical papers are invited from rural sociology or interdisciplinary research areas. Papers should be allotted to one of the following two subthemes.

1. “Multiple knowledges and multiple ruralities – European rural spaces in the 21st century”:

- Multiple knowledges: which knowledge counts in future rural development?

- Multiple ruralities: vanishing dichotomies of rural and urban and new contrasts and social inequalities, gender relations, uneven development.

- Urbanisation and cities without borders: mobility and the emergence of new “rurban”/rural-urban spaces in European countries.

- Urban and peri-urban agriculture and other forms of new agriculture: food and non-food production - future forms of agricultural production.

- Rural governance and development: the future roles of traditional actors, new groups, actors, institutions, projects and social subjects. 

Empirical case studies illustrating such new forms of rurality are welcome, but they should include methodological or theoretical reflections about the guiding question of this working group: What are the new forms of multidimensional rurality emerging that show the future of European rural spaces?

2. Diverse Landscapes of Rural Knowledge, Justice, and Change

Speakers from academic and community groups, especially from practitioner agencies, community activist and campaigning groups, and postgraduate researchers should discuss the following issues:

- Interdisciplinary approaches to researching contemporary rural spaces, places and peoples, drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives, collaboration through learning about common and diverse research projects across both bio-physical landscapes e.g. agricultural communities, protected landscapes and socio-personal or economic and cultural contexts e.g. young people, older people. 

- Opportunities to share current debates and positions on the uneven nature of rural change.

- Knowledge sharing of rural actors.

- Issues of current interest(s) such as ecosystem services, wilderness/rewilding, cultural diversity, protected landscapes and community resilience all within the changing framework of both an European and global dynamic.


Contributions are welcomed from diverse range of rural stakeholder group or individuals who may be poorly represented.

The Working Group will take the format of a chaired series of short presentations of between 15-20 mins from selected international speakers, ending with a panel discussion chaired by a named discussant.

For the second subtheme also a postgraduate poster session will be organized.