WG 12 Partnership for rural sustainable development in the era of Anthropocene – University of Copenhagen

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WG 12 Partnership for rural sustainable development in the era of Anthropocene

Social-environmental policies are from a rural perspective characterized by a number of dilemmas, which is accentuated in this era of Anthropocene. In rural areas, food, fuel, hydroelectricity, and fiber are produced for the benefit of the whole country. Simultaneously, the rural population is expected to protect the rural environment, to manage and conserve national resources, and develop local industries, e.g. tourism, but lately also local small-scale food industries, to profit from the resources available. The focus on both production and protection, competition between land use activities as well as complex property and usufruct rights generates conflicts as a result of disparate perceptions between actors at different societal levels.  To face these challenges, a new form of governance referred to as partnership between public, private and voluntary sectors has recently been adopted by several European countries. Generally viewed as reflecting the rise of what is called ‘the new localism’, partnership has opened up the rural arena for many other actors beyond the local level (e.g. NGOs, businesses) to influence the future of rural areas, thereby embedding rural populations within new formations of power relations.

This panel aims to examining the output of partnership arrangements moving beyond the formal mechanisms steering the process. To what extent has the involvement of local actors, in partnerships with government, created enough space to accommodate local interests and livelihood needs? From an institutional perspective, what kinds of rules and regulation have been developed for different partnership arrangements? Do partnerships represent a strategy that has achieved policy changes, or should be considered as an additional arrangement for citizens’ involvement? 


Serena Cinque, Department of Political Science, Umeå University
Lina Holmgren, Department of Political Science, Umeå University