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XXI Congress
A common European countryside?
Change and continuity, diversity and cohesion in the enlarged Europe
22-27 August, 2005 Keszthely Hungary

Final CPF - ESRS (European Society for Rural Sociology) Working Group 2:

The 'Small Worlds' of Rural Europe: social networks, social capital and

Recent studies have reflected on the importance of both social networks and
social capital in the small and medium land based enterprises that form the
core of the social economy of rural Europe.  With increasing policy emphasis
placed on the multifunctionality of agriculture and the development of the
food chain, the role of networks and the social capabilities represented
by social capital have taken on a fresh importance.  This panel seeks to
explore the interconnections between social networks, social capital and
rural development, with an explicit focus on the enterprise and its

To that end we invite papers that explore:

.         The modalities of social networks in rural areas, with particular
references to networking between enterprises in the food chain.

.         Explorations of the utility of the concept social capital in rural
communities and the contribution it can make to analysis the process of rural

.         Considerations of the different forms of networks or community
building dynamics in both 'new' and 'old' European countryside.

.         Empirical studies of the networks of rural enterprises,particularly
adaptive responses by enterprises in the face of either new technologies or
policy initiatives.

.         Papers that seek to extend the existing methodology of networks
through the modelling of social networks, ethnographic exploration or other

Our aim is to instigate a dialogue between the existing scholarship on role
the enterprise in rural communities and extend it through new methodologies
that reflect the impact of the economic forces of globalisation and the
opportunities presented by policy initiatives.  We would welcome contributions
from postgraduate students as well as more established colleagues.

Please send, by 15 April 2005, your abstract for a paper (not longer than
300 words) to the working group convenors.

Allan Butler (Centre for Rural Research University of Exeter)
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Phil Le Grice (Duchy College)

Matt Reed (Centre for Rural Research, University of Exeter)
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Dr. Allan Butler
Research Fellow,
Centre for Rural Research,
School of Geography, Archaeology and Earth Resources,
University of Exeter,
Lafrowda House,
St. Germans Road,
Exeter EX4 6TL

Tel: 01392 263847 or (mobile 07968 307704)

Fax: 01392 263852

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