Globalization and Europe’s Rural Regions – Ashgate

Globalization and Europe’s Rural Regions is edited by John McDonagh, Birte Nienaber and Michael Woods. Read their Introduction: Globalization and Europe’s Rural Regions – Challenge and Opportunity. Check the Contents or have a Preview.

This book examines the multiple ways in which rural regions in Europe are being restructured through globalization and the regional development responses that they have adopted. It provides an understanding of the key challenges and opportunities for rural regions arising from the major economic, social, political and cultural changes associated with globalization, including trade liberalization and economic deregulation, increased international migration, and the rise of global consciousness about environmental issues. Drawing on examples and findings from a major European research project, DERREG, the book presents detailed case studies of ten regions in different parts of Europe, exploring the factors that lead to different experiences of globalization in each of the regions, and highlighting examples of good practice in regional development responses. The book concludes by proposing a typology of regional responses to globalization and considering the policy implications of the research findings. As such, ‘Globalization and Europe’s Rural Regions’ is important reading for geographers, sociologists, planners and economists interested in understanding the impact of globalization in rural regions, and for rural development professionals seeking to mobilize effective responses.

Chapter 3 Raising Self-efficacy and Resilience in the Westerkwartier: The
Spin-off from Collaborative Leadership by Dirk Roep, Wiebke Wellbrock and Lummina  (Ina) Horlings is a contribution of the Rural Sociology Group.

Chapter 3 focuses on the process of rural regional learning in the Westerkwartier, a district in the northern Netherlands forming part of the province of Groningen. In this chapter, Roep et al. explore the particular expressions of how an area is shaped and reshaped in the context of global forces and how the enhancement of individual and regional learning capacities allows residents of rural regions to become active participants in their negotiation and engagement with global forces while allowing room to develop ideas and strategies that benefit themselves and their region. The Westerkwartier district itself comprises four small rural municipalities close to the city of Groningen, has a growing population and is relatively urbanized in European terms. Agriculture is a significant but pressurized activity and much of the land of the region is classified as protected nature reserve. In shaping the development of the Westerkwartier the authors suggest
that systematic and strategic collaboration is played out in the coming together of diverse individuals and groups who may have different perspectives, value sets and in some instances conflicting interests, but who share a willingness to bridge these differences and through informal, visionary leadership have resulted in a collective spirit driving various shared initiatives and a more united representation
of the Westerkwartier Region.

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