The Research Study Group (RSG) Southern and Mediterranean Europe: Social Change, Challenges and Opportunities, at the XXVI ESRS Congress held in Aberdeen, Scotland, 18-21 August 2015

The Research Study Group (RSG) Southern and Mediterranean Europe: Social Change, Challenges and Opportunities co-organized the Working Group (WG): “Southern and Eastern rural Europe under neo-liberal restructuring: Challenges, resistances and emancipations”, at the XXVI ESRS Congress held in Aberdeen, Scotland, 18-21 August 2015. The WG was convened by  Katalin Kovács and Nigel Swain, and by Renato do Carmo and Mª Jesús Rivera members of our RSG. The WG  turned out to be and enriching space for discussion about the impact of the  crisis suffered by southern and Mediterranean countries on their rural territories and rural lives, and to compare and exchange experiences with the also peripheral countries from Eastern Europe. The seven sessions of the WG counted on the active participation of several members of the RSG as chairs, presenters and discussers. Fourteen papers were presented on different dimensions of the southern and Mediterranean rural areas:  periurban developments, migrations, farm types and strategies, aspects of labour and rural economies, resources and agencies, and movements of resistance, referring to Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey, as showed in the table below:

Crisis and interstitial rurality: the collapse of urban development? – Elvira Sanz, María Jesús Rivera.
The rural in the metropolis: between the impact of the crisis and the local practices – Renato Carmo, Daniela Ferreira.
Social diversity and changing mobilities in peri-urban rural areas.  The case of Gran Vega region in Sevilla (Spain) – Jesús Oliva, Manuel González, Inmaculada Montero.
Labour contractors and migrant labour in Italy’s Neoliberal Agriculture – Lucilla Salvia.
International immigrants in rural areas: the effect of the crisis in settlement patterns and family strategies – Rosario Sampedro, Luis Camarero.
Counterurbanisation, pro-rural migration and rural sustainability. The impact of crisis on Spanish remote rurality – María Jesús Rivera.
Current role of local agriculture on well-being of inhabitants. Case study from Southern Portugal – Diana Surova.
Juggler farmers in Turkey: is there any room for collective action? – Fatmanil Doner.
Are they talking about multifunctionality of rural areas or multifunctionality of people living in rural areas? – Fátima Cruz.
The impact of the crisis on the accessibility to health services in rural areas – Elvira Sanz.
Rural governance, austerity and sustainability. Rural-urban hybridizations as resilience strategies in Spanish mountain areas – Jesús Oliva, Andoni Iso, Elvira Sanz, Jon Martínez-Lorea.
The limited role of Spanish local governments in addressing social exclusion in rural areas. A qualitative study in Comunidad Valenciana – Diana Valero López, José Vicente Pérez Cosín.
Local food production: vegetable gardens as resistance strategies? An exploratory study in Mortemor-o-Novo (Portugal). – Cecilia Fonseca, Teresa Pinto-Correia.
The political economy of alternative agriculture in Italy: reflections on the specificity of resistance and transitions in Southern Europe – Maria Fonte, Ivan Cucco.

The proceedings are available in the website of the European Society for Rural Sociology: