rss_2.0Eastern European Countryside FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Eastern European Countryside European Countryside Feed years of rural and agricultural research. The Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development at the Polish Academy of Sciences (1971–2022) impact of EU development policy on the governance capability of peripheral regions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The internal resource-based development of peripheral regions – which are still to be defined precisely and accepted universally – is a constant challenge for the European Union and the Member States, which is difficult to address in the form of a schematic recipe. An important aspect of this complex issue is the existence and success of local governance, which, based on its own internal characteristics alone, can mobilise a community, without which the chances of making further progress are bleak. Governance and the issue of peripheral regions together, at least at the EU level, are reflected in the EU’s development policy. This paper, based on the analysis of EU documents and the Hungarian local and regional experience, aims to investigate whether the European Union is able to assist peripheral regions to catch up, and if so, in what form and through what mechanisms, and what conditions and requirements-related to governance – may be necessary for successful catching up, which may at the same time lead to the success or failure of EU objectives.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue importance of local community attitudes for sustainable tourism in protected areas: The case of Tikvara Nature Park, Serbia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>One of the most important elements of tourism development is encouraging the participation of the local community. In order to encourage their participation, it is necessary to be aware of the attitudes of the local residents with respect to the development of tourism. The aim of this research is to determine the attitudes of the local community towards the development of sustainable tourism and ecotourism in the protected area Tikvara, along with the local residents’ level of nature protection and preservation in the Tikvara Nature Park. A survey was conducted among 301 residents and the results indicate that while good community support for sustainable tourism activities in each area captured by the survey (planning, participation, activities, and decision-making) exists, local residents’ attitudes are affected by their sociodemographic characteristics. Nonetheless, a large number of locals were happy to participate in protection programs and believed that the environment should be protected for future generations to enjoy the natural and cultural resources of this area. These findings should be considered when designing sustainable tourism management strategies, while respecting the needs and rights of the local community, as the willingness of locals to develop sustainable tourism is essential for the success of this sector.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue conference for the Golden Jubilee of the Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IRWiR PAN) development opportunities for rural areas. Example of an underdeveloped region (Siklós district)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The study aims to answer the question of how effectively cities of an underdeveloped rural area (Siklós district in Hungary) can involve the surrounding settlements in the tourism economy, thereby promoting the development of rural areas. Besides local governments and tourism organisations, our important goal is to understand the ideas of service providers and their guests related to rural development, as well as the spatial use characteristics of the latter group. The key method is the questionnaire survey, targeted at the mayors of all settlements in the district, as well as the guests of the accommodations belonging to the different product types. The primary sources are based on two further series of interviews, which explore the opinions of service providers and professional organisations. Empirical experience shows that thematic trips can play a prominent role in the development of less frequented small settlements. The essence of this is to connect by a bike route the places offering traditional crafts and local products.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue rural linguistic landscape of Banat<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>While the main body of linguistic landscape (LL) research still focuses on urban areas, more recent works have broadened the scope and conceptualisation of LL to include rural spaces. However, these works almost exclusively examine the Global North or the Global South. Suspended somewhere between the Global North and the Global South, the so-called Global East, to which Southeast Europe belongs, is for the most part excluded not just from notions of globality, but also from LL studies. The aim of this paper is to redirect the focus of LL research to a rural area in the Global East, namely, the village Ečka in the Serbian Banat, a region with a specific and lengthy history of multilingualism. We hold that the typologies used for the study of urban LL cannot yield relevant results if applied to rural LL. Our study is based on data collected in 2020 and 2021 during six field trips to Ečka which resulted in more than 300 photographs containing inscriptions in different languages and scripts. Furthermore, we conducted participant observation by recording interviews and collecting walking narratives from locals in Serbian or Romanian. Our study confirmed that there is a gap between the official multiculturalism and multilingualism policy as declared and implemented by top-down agents and the gradual transition to monolingualism and monoscriptalism at the bottom-up level. Therefore, instead of the classical top-down and bottom-up distinction, we propose seeing the village space from a two-fold perspective: the synchronic LL, which mirrors the current use of languages, language prestige and language policies, and the memorial LL, which is a chronicle of the multilingualism of past generations and welcomes a diachronic perspective of LL.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue impact of the age structure of active population on agricultural activity rate: The case study of the Timok Krajina region<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As agricultural activity is primarily linked to rural areas, negative demographic trends characterising them present as one of the basic factors of size and age structure changes in the agricultural population. On the other hand, the modernisation of agricultural production, combined with various stimulating mechanisms, impacts its attractiveness, thus influencing the number and age structure of agricultural producers. Change in the overall agricultural activity rate reflects these two processes, making it suitable to be analysed by quantification of effects that produce these changes by applying Das Gupta’s decomposition method. The Timok Krajina region is chosen as a characteristic example due to the recent and relatively significant rise in the overall activity rate in agriculture, in contrast to the national level, where a constant decline in this rate is present. This research focuses on the difference that occurred in the last intercensal period (between 2002 and 2011), aiming to determine the impact of changes in the age structure of the active population that performs an occupation on the change of overall activity rate in agriculture in the Timok Krajina region. The research results depict that the changes in activity rate in agriculture in the examined period almost completely occurred under the influence of demographic factors, while other factors, marked as the rate effects, had a symbolic impact.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue countryside and non-gentrified countryside: Spatial dimension of the rural gentrification process<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The subject of the paper is the process of rural gentrification in Poland. In Poland, this process has a special character. It began later than in the West and intensified in the last decade of the twentieth century. It resulted from two parallel processes endogenous and exogenous to the countryside. The rural middle class grew due to an increase in the level of education of the rural population (resulting from the “educational boom” after 1989) since a higher level of education entitles one to occupy a higher position in the social and professional structure. It was accompanied by the settlement of the urban middle class in rural areas. The paper identifies (based on literature and earlier own research) the features of rural gentrification in Poland. Based on them, the level of gentrification of rural communities was indicated, and in turn, the spatial extent of the rural gentrification process in Poland was defined.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue possible new direction for employment strategies in rural areas: theoretical foundation for the assessment of employability<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of this study is to develop a theoretical framework for measuring an important segment of labour economics, namely the spatial structure of employability, especially for disadvantaged groups and regions. Based on secondary sources, it summarises the main factors of employability, providing a starting point for researchers working on the econometric branch of social sciences to develop an employability index using this conceptual background. The base of the primary research is the complex questionnaire survey administered to a group of the most disadvantaged job seekers. The study evaluates the factors hindering the employability of human resources that can be activated in the most disadvantaged districts. The research results are useful for those who are interested in increasing employment and reducing the impact of employability-limiting factors.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of conceptual networks related to climate change among inhabitants: A case study in Eastern Hungarian settlements with word association method<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this study, the word association method was applied in relation to municipalities in Eastern Hungary (Hajdú-Bihar county), where the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) already exists, and where the SECAP has not yet been introduced. In addition to the six municipalities examined, Debrecen, a county seat with the SECAP, was also included in the survey. The aim was to explore the conceptual networks related to climate change and the strength of the relationship between the stimulus word and the associated concepts. The associations representing a common meaning were categorised. The results show that the distribution of conceptual networks and that of categories related to climate change exhibit a similar picture in the group of municipalities with (3 villages) and without the SECAP (3 villages), although significant differences were found when the settlements were examined separately (7 municipalities). Studying the distribution of categories by demographic groups, it was found that educational attainment determines, to the greatest extent, the answers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue autonomy and submission Financial Bubbles and Earthworms: Lessons from Hungary’s Rural Pyramid during its Economic Transition<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the early 1990s, Former Eastern Bloc countries, including Hungary, experienced a broad transition from centrally-planned economies, managed by party-state bureaucracies, to privatised economies. Throughout the market liberalisation process, the Hungarian market embraced entrepreneurship as a mechanism for generating both private wealth and economic growth, despite a lack of experience and know-how in business management and financial education, made largely unavailable by the communist regime for more than 40 years. On these grounds, several Eastern European countries experienced the rise of Ponzi schemes. The Hungarian earthworm pyramid can serve as an interesting example of the financial pyramids that evolved during the transition of economies. However, some of the characteristics of the Hungarian earthworm pyramid suggest that it was a rather unique case when compared to other Eastern European pyramids during the economic transition period of post-communist nations. Our study concludes that, under different political and economic circumstances, the Hungarian bio-humus production by earthworms could potentially become a profitable venture, rather than a source for financial and societal damages.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue locally, act globally: Polish farmers in the global era of sustainability and resilience search of inspiration: Pioneers and promoters of rural sociology<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article refers to Gerd Vonderach’s publications showing the relevance of discovering and (re)using the existing output of the social sciences. With reference to the terms <italic>Pioniere</italic> and <italic>Ideengeber</italic>, this paper introduces selected classic figures of the social sciences in German-speaking countries and the discussions and controversies that have arisen in the course of analysing their work.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue mobility as a carrier of cultural capital: an analysis based on a longitudinal study of generations<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>For many years international migrations have been the primary focus of spatial mobility research, whereas internal migrations – occurring within one state – have aroused significantly less interest. However, the latter are not only an important complement to the former, but they also seem to have a much greater impact on the domestic affairs of the state. For example, internal migrations engage the resources (intellectual, cultural, social) of much wider cohorts of people who therefore become, with varying degrees of significance, agents of social changes. This article presents an analysis of the spatial mobility of two generations monitored during a 45-year-long longitudinal research project. Its broad time perspective makes it possible to analyse not only the net changes with regard to the place of residence, a typical focus of migration studies, but also gross changes (migration flows). The aim of this article is to determine the scale and the social embeddedness of the migration flows in both generations.</p> <p>It is assumed that, due to differences in generational biographies and resources, as well as changes in the quality of life in rural areas compared to urban areas, migrations in both generations, even though occurring at the same stages of life, are different. As a result, the resources contributed by migrants to their new places of residence also carry a different quality.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue for paranormal tourism development in Serbia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper aims to identify possibilities for paranormal tourism development in Serbia and to determine domestic tourists’ interest in participating in paranormal tourism. Paranormal places and bizarre rituals have been defined as potential paranormal tourism localities and events. Paranormal tourism is one of the new forms of special interest tourism. It is evident that paranormal tourism is a result of the expansion of other related types of tourism, such as dark tourism, ghost tourism, spiritual tourism, cultural tourism, ethnological tourism, new age tourism and pilgrimage tourism. It is defined by tourists’ interest in topics which challenge realist ontologies and representational epistemologies. The present study examines responses from 405 Serbia residents (potential tourists). After using descriptive statistics, Independent Samples T-Test and ANOVA, the study finds that potential tourists are interested in visiting certain paranormal places, and there is a possibility to develop this type of tourism in Serbia. The current work is the first study of paranormal tourism in Serbia and one of the few studies in the world.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of using individual biogas digesters for processing biowaste of rural households in Ukraine<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Biogas production is a promising area for the development of alternative energy sources in Ukraine and in the world. The aim of this study is to investigate the possibilities of implementing individual biogas digesters in rural households in Ukraine and to determine the energy, economic and environmental benefits of biogas production from organic waste. As part of the study, an analysis of the main characteristics of households in Ukraine was carried out and the prerequisites for organising biogas production by households were determined. Household incomes were analysed, and it was determined that the costs of housing and communal services tend to grow. It was determined that the price of natural gas for the population over the past years has increased by almost 10 times, and thus replacing natural gas with biogas becomes especially relevant. The positive economic and environmental factors of using individual biogas plants in rural areas were characterised, and the theoretically possible potential of biogas production from household waste in Ukraine was calculated. Following this, a number of government measures to promote the proliferation of individual biogas plants were proposed. The economic benefits from the use of biogas were determined, including energy autonomy, the possibility of using organic fertilisers, and additional profit from the sale of surplus products. The ecological effect of using individual biogas plants will include the possibility of recycling organic waste and waste water, thus improving the hygiene situation for individual users.</p> <p>Individual biogas digesters constitute a promising direction in Ukraine in terms of energy (production of biogas) and ecological areas (household waste management and production of organic fertilisers). At present, the sector of individual biogas production from biowaste is not widely spread in Ukraine, due to the lack of state support and insufficient awareness among rural residents about the benefits of biogas technology. In this research we determined the economic efficiency of the construction and operation of an individual biogas plant. Considering the average price of natural gas in Ukraine (229.9 USD per 1000 m3), the use of a biogas plant would save 144.1 USD annually on the purchase of natural gas. Given that the cost of building an individual biogas digester is 825.6 USD, its payback period would be 4.7 years.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Market Relations in Agriculture in North Macedonia: the COVID-19 Crisis<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The COVID-19 crisis has stressed the importance of, and need for, a stable and functional food system, able to provide consumers with a continuous supply of quality food at affordable prices. The pandemic has also highlighted the role of agricultural producers in the food supply chain, with small farmers being the most vulnerable category. This global crisis has actually deepened the problems faced by farmers, especially those on the verge of sustainability. The purpose of this analysis was to provide an overview of the disrupted links in agriculture, as a result of the initial COVID-19 crisis. A survey was carried out with 91 farmers in North Macedonia. Moreover, in-depth interviews were conducted with selected traders and processors. In general, farmers assessed that the crisis negatively affected their economic operations. The critical parts of the supply chain derive from the disrupted link between farmers and traders/processors, lack of field technical support resulting from the mobility restrictions, uncertainty in cooperation, lower production quantities, and varying quality of the agricultural products. Availability and cost of seasonal workforce was also pronounced as an issue. The dominant family farms small-scale structure and lack of aggregation in the sector challenged the resilience and effective response to the crisis. From buyers’ and processors’ perspective, the crisis effect was marked through the disrupted communication with farmers, low awareness of the need for change, and drastic decline in the HORECA channel sales. The agricultural and rural policy is designed to address measures adjusted to the needs of the key actors in the sector. The priority set of measures should support the food supply chain, enhancing farmers’ networking and aggregation, and on-farm and off-farm diversification, along with improved communication, information systems and digitalisation. Improving productivity and competitiveness remains an effective strategy for sustainable operations, greater resilience and risk adaptation in crises such as the pandemic.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Care in Poland. Essence, limitations and development opportunities with the kujawsko-pomorskie province as an example<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>An ageing society has triggered the development of new intervention mechanisms and the engagement of both state and non-governmental institutions. It can be said that, for each group of persons, place-of-residence and social-structure-specific social security models must be designed. In Poland, such innovative actions include the initiative of launching care farms, known as green care. This article presents the results of the current study and observations of the operation of such farms in the kujawsko-pomorskie province. The study mostly involved the use of qualitative methods: interviews with carers, a covert participant observation and the analysis of the opinions of the psychologist coordinating the care farm therapy. The study shows that the idea of green care is quite easily implemented in the rural areas of Poland, with plenty of potential clients and farms which, with sometimes inconsiderable investment inputs, can be adapted to welcome that specific group of guests. However, one must note many barriers, especially a lack of permanent sources of green care financing, in many places a profound distrust of the local community for changes and innovations, and uncertainty regarding the continued care prospect, which can result in an even greater social withdrawal of the clients and an abandoning of the efforts by the carers and farm owners for a further operation to be continued.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue study of social networks in post-socialist Western Balkan countries. Formal and informal networking for information diffusion<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Rural areas in the Western Balkan are faced with severe socio-economic and political challenges, including a lack of access to knowledge and information as well as scepticism about formal forms of cooperation. Yet, the evidence regarding the influence of social capital and network structures on the access of the rural population to information and knowledge in these countries is still sparse, even though this can be one of the most influential factors shaping rural development. In this paper, a multi-country comparison was applied to provide empirical evidence of the existing level of social capital structures (networks) in North Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The conducted analyses indicate that even with the low participation rates, all farmers, both members and non-members of organisations, perceived membership in formal organisations as useful. Additionally, the results support the presumption that even sparse informal networks, mostly built on strong personal ties, are more effective channels for information transfer in the absence of efficient/active formalised types of cooperation. This implies that rural development policy should be crafted in a way to transform farmers from passive subjects into creative actors, particularly in sharing and promoting good practices.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue