Rural development

European Countryside special issue | DERREG

A special issue of the European Countryside (Volume 3, Number 3 / 2011) guest edited by Michael Woods and John McDonagh is now avaliable online and features four articles based on the research findings of the DERREG project:


The full contents are:

‘Rural Europe and the world: Globalization and rural development’ (Editorial) Authors: Michael Woods and John McDonagh

‘Expanding horizons: local embeddedness and local engagement among small firms in the European countryside’. Authors: Andrew Copus, Alexandre Dubois and Moa Hedström

 ‘The relevance of linking favourable business environments with embeddedness SMEs in rural areas of the Goriška region, Slovenia’. Author: Irma Potočnik-Slavič

‘Embedding of rural businesses in the South Moravian region’. Authors: Milada Šťastná, Tereza Kniezková and Miloslava Náplavová

‘Protected areas and regional development: conflicts and opportunities – presented on the example of the UNESCO biosphere reserve Bliesgau’. Authors: Wioletta Frys and Birte Nienaber

Rural development

Interpretative Model of Globalization Effects in Regional Development | DERREG

The research completed by DERREG during the three-year project period (Jan’09-Dec’11) has shown that rural regions across Europe are proactively engaging with globalization processes and their impacts, exploiting new opportunities for international networking and trade, and developing responses to the challenges presented by globalization.

Globalization is not a singular, monolithic and homogenizing force. Different globalization processes operate in different combinations in different regions, with different results. There is no one rural experience of globalization, and no pre-determined outcomes. National, regional and local factors can all intervene to shape impacts and responses.

Drawing together evidence from the four thematic strands of the DERREG project, combined with broader contextual research, we can propose an interpretative model for understanding the workings of globalization in rural contexts and the opportunities for policy interventions.


As the DERREG interpretative model proposes, globalization impacts in rural regions result from the potential formed by the intersection of globalization processes and regional contexts and capacities, and the transformative agency of catalysts that can variously include local entrepreneurs, corporate actors, government policies or political events, among others.

Read more about the DERREG interpretative model in the ‘Summary Report’ document attached below…

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DERREG Summary Report.pdf 402.54 KB
Rural development

Welcome to DERREG | DERREG

Globalization increasingly frames the challenges for regional development in rural Europe. As the European Commission has observed, « globalization is seen to touch every walk of life – opening doors, creating opportunities, raising apprehensions », such that « our response to globalization has moved to the heart of the EU policy agenda » (CEC, 2007).

The DERREG (‘Developing Europe’s Rural Regions in the Era of Globalization’) project aims to produce an interpretative model that will enable researchers and regional development actors to better anticipate and respond to the key challenges posed by globalization for rural regions.

Coordinated by Professor Michael Woods (Aberystwyth University), DERREG is working across 10 case study regions in 8 EU countries selected to illustrate different geographical and socio-economic contexts. Specific aspects of globalization and regional development are being analysed through four empirical work packages: Global engagement and local embeddedness of rural businesses (WP1); International mobility and migration of rural populations (WP2); Environmental capital and sustainable rural development development (WP3); and Capacity building, governance and knowledge systems (WP4).

The Final Conference of the DERREG project took place in Murska Sobota, Slovenia, on 12-13 October 2011. Presentations from the conference are now available to download from the Events page  

Rural development

Good Practice Database | DERREG

Results Link
Dzūkija Rural Development Partners‘ Association (Dzūkija LAG)     view
Mutual Help and Cooperation Network – WOOD NETWORK     view
Alytus Region Business Association     view
Lithuanian and Polish International Training and Business Centre project     view
Business Angel     view
Cooperative Biocoop     view
O Grelo Verde     view
Rural Development Association Portas Abertas     view
Bürgerwerkstatt Bad Muskau     view
Krabat e.V.     view
Umgebindeland     view
Kilbride Parish Council     view
Border Midland West Regional Assembly (BMW)     view
Roscommon County Enterprise Board (RCEB)     view
FÁS – (Foras Aiseanna Saothair)     view
Roscommon Integrated Development Company Ltd.     view
Roscommon Vocational Education Committee (VEC)     view
Western Development Commission     view
Pobal     view
Rural development

Resource Centre – Results & Recommendations | DERREG

This report summarises work carried out between 2009 and 2011 by the six DERREG partner institutions involved in work package 4 (WP4): ‘Capacity building, governance and knowledge systems’. The leading research question in WP4 was how to (best) arrange support for joint learning and innovation in rural grassroots development initiatives, and this is considered across case study areas in the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania and Spain.

Rural development

Resource Centre – Published Articles / Book Chapters | DERREG

Paul Swagemakers, M. Dolores Domínguez García, Xavier Simón Fernández, and Johannes S. C. Wiskerke (2012): ‘Unfolding Farm Practices: Working Toward Sustainable Food Production in the Netherlands and Spain’, Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development 2(2) pp.

Rural development

Resource Centre – Case study reports | DERREG

Authors: Wiebke Wellbrock and Dirk Roep (Eds.), in collaboration with WP4 partners.
Summary analysis of public policies supporting learning and innovation in grassroots development initiatives within the WP4 case study regions of Alytus County (LT), Comarca de Verin (S), Dresden (G), Roscommon (I), Saarland (G) and the Westerkwartier (NL).

Rural development

Resource Centre – Background documents | DERREG

Authors: WP1 Partners (Global Engagement and Local Embeddedness of Rural Businesses).
This report gives an account of the primary empirical phase of WP1, which comprised two surveys, both targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the five case study areas (in Sweden, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Lithuania.)

Rural development

Resource Centre | DERREG

Authors: WP1 Partners (Global Engagement and Local Embeddedness of Rural Businesses).
This report gives an account of the primary empirical phase of WP1, which comprised two surveys, both targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the five case study areas (in Sweden, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Lithuania.)

Rural development

Events | DERREG

Globalization and Rural Regions in Europe: Impacts, Challenges and Lessons
Hotel Diana, Murska Sobota, Slovenia, 12th and 13th October 2011

This two-day conference presented results from the DERREG project, funded by the European Commission’s Framework Programme 7, to examine the ways i