Round Table ‘Resilience strategies in Northern and Southern Europe: towards a smart and sustainable rural development’ Vila Real, Portugal, 15 October 2016

The Research and Study Group (RSG) Southern and Mediterranean Europe: Social Change, Challenges and Opportunities organized the Round Table ‘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 round table was chaired by María Jesús Rivera, member of our RSG and of the Executive Committee of the European Society for Rural Sociology. Four presenters discussed the concept of resilience, its application to social systems and rural studies, and the 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. The member of our RSG 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 Donner (Istanbul Mendineyet University, Turkey), also member of our RSG, 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 conceived 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.

Round Table Summaryround-table-summary-1-docx


Javier Esparcia: esparcia-xicier-resilience-strategies-1

Renato Carmo: carmo-xicier-resilience-strategies

Fatma Nil Doner: doner-xicier-resilience-strategies-1

Susanne Stenbacka: stenbacka-xicier-resilience-strategies