New rural geographies in Europe: actors, processes, policies

14-17 June 2017 in Braunschweig, Germany at Thünen Institute of Rural Studies

Important dates:

  • February 2017 Registration start
  • February 2017 Call for Posters
  • March 2017 Preliminary programme
  • March 15, 2017 Early Bird deadline
  • May 15, 2017 Registration deadline
  • June 2017 Welcome to Germany!

We cordially invite all scholars working in the field of rural studies to participate and contribute to the conference “New rural geographies in Europe: actors, processes, policies” in Braunschweig, Germany, 14-17 June 2017. For registration and more detailed information, please visit or mail to


Following the European Rural Geographies Conference in Nantes (France) in 2014, and a number of bilateral meetings in the decades before, a new tradition of European exchange on rural areas and ruralities shall be established. Therefore, the Rural Geography Group (Arbeitskreis Ländlicher Raum) within the German Association of Geography (DGfG) and the Thünen Institute of Rural Studies are pleased to invite all interested scholars in the field of rural geography and neighbouring disciplines to contribute to and participate in this exchange.

Guiding themes (call for papers closed, call for posters open from 1 Feb 2017)

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 women2. 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)

Call for posters open from 1 Feb 2017

The conference programme will consist of both oral presentations and a poster session (June 14, 2017). The posters will be exhibited during the entire conference. According to the theoretical, methodological and visual quality we will award a poster prize on Friday, 16 June 2017. Please provide your poster abstracts (maximum 2,500 characters incl. blanks) on one of the guiding themes and your contact data until March 1, 2017 to For more information, please visit

Conference schedule

The conference will consist of three full days with thematic sessions and keynotes (Wednesday to Friday: June 14–16, 2017). On the final day (Saturday: June 17, 2017), we organise two field trips to rural areas in Central Germany that were subject to a variety of socio-economic, political and landscape transformations in the past decades.

Conference publications

We plan to publish outstanding conference papers in a volume within the recently issued book series “Rural areas: Issues of local and regional development”, edited by Ulrike Grabski-Kieron, Ingo Mose, Anja Reichert-Schick and Annett Steinführer, and published by LIT publishers (Münster/Berlin/Vienna/Zurich/London). We will approach respective candidates subsequent to the conference. We further encourage session chairs to edit special issues in renowned research journals.

For more detailed information, please visit or mail to