Promoting the relational turn in rural development

Nordregio’s Senior Research Fellow Alexandre Dubois has co-authored, in collaboration with Dimitris Skuras from the University of Patras, Greece, a chapter in the book Territorial Cohesion in Rural Europe. The Relational Turn in Rural Development, published this summer.

The book, edited by Andrew K. Copus and Philomena de Lima, provides a state-of-the-art overview of recent research on the topic of Rural Development and Territorial Cohesion. It reflects on how the economies, social characteristics, ways of life and global relationships of rural areas of Europe have changed in recent years. This reveals a need to refresh the concepts we use to understand, measure and describe rural communities and their development potential.

In their contribution, Alexandre and Dimitris argue that the shift to the New Rural Economy may necessitate new forms of policy initiatives than the traditional ones in Rural Development Policy. This in order to support local actors in transforming the rural economic space from an inward-looking, nature-based and mono-industrial society to one based on relations across sectors and across geographical contexts.