Resilience Strategies in Northern and Southern Europe: Towards a Smart and Sustainable Rural Development – XI CIER (Vila Real, Portugal)

The Research and Study Group (RSG) Southern and Mediterranean Europe: Social Change, Challenges and Opportunities organized a round table on ‘Resilience strategies in Northern and Southern Europe: towards a smart and sustainable rural development?’ in the context of the XI Iberian Conference on Rural Studies held in Vila Real, Portugal, 13-15 October 2016. The event was supported by ISO-RURAL, as some of the members of the RSG are also part of our research network. 

The round table was chaired by María Jesús Rivera. Four presenters discussed the concept of resilience, its application to social systems and rural studies, and existing perspectives on rural resilience in Southern and Northern Europe. Javier Esparcia Pérez (University of Valencia, Spain) illustrated the current application of this concept to rural communities and rural development. Renato Miguel do Carmo (University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal) developed a critical view on resilience taking into account its conservative bias, and explored the possibility of incorporating a new perspective in order to look at resilience as a driver for transformation in rural areas. Fatma Nil Döner (Istanbul Mendineyet University, Turkey) reflected on what we are calling ‘resilience strategies’ in the context of Southern and Mediterranean Europe, and what sort of social processes and institutions are present when we talk about resilience strategies. Finally, Susanne Stenbacka (Uppsala University, Sweden) showed how rural resilience is concieved and practiced in Sweden, using as an example the refugee migration to rural areas and how it is met at the municipality level. The discussion was highly interesting and clarifying and showed the potentiality and limits of this concept, warning about its uncritical use in rural research conducted in Southern and Mediterranean Europe.

More info about the round table and the presentations:

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