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Danish Centre for Rural Research - CLF

IFUL Newsletter April 2008

IFUL Newsletter April 2008

This is the first international newsletter from The Danish Institute of Rural Research and Development – in Danish: Institut for Forskning og Udvikling i Landdistrikter, short: IFUL – and it is sent to people we hope would be interested in the Institute’s work and research. If you do not want to receive this newsletter, please mail us shortly at Also, you are welcome to forward the newsletter to people, you might think could benefit from its existence! The newsletter will be issued quarterly. More information on the Institute can be found here.    

The Danish Institute of Rural Research and Development, established 2006, is a part of the University of Southern Denmark and based at the campus in Esbjerg on the west coast of Denmark. The Institute took over from the Centre of Rural Research and Development, formed in 2001. State contributors are the Ministry of Social Welfare, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and University of Southern Denmark. Furthermore, external earnings are a substantial part of the budget.Head of Institute is professor Flemming Just.

The objective of IFUL is to contribute to the development of sustainable rural areas specially focusing on business development and the population's life conditions. It will be fulfilled through research and consultancy work, evaluation, knowledge gathering and documentation, development of concepts and methods, teaching and dissemination of knowledge. IFUL is working according to a research strategy that implies:
Business and innovation
Life conditions and settlement Policy, economy and administration Theory and methodology

News on research
Recently published articles (most links require passwords):

1.      Nannestad, P., Gunnar L.H. Svendsen & G.T. Svendsen: “Bridge over troubled water? Migration, social capital and the welfare state”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (theme: “Economics in migration research: Towards disciplinary integration?”), vol. 34, nr. 4, p. 607-631. (2008)

2.      Svendsen, Gunnar L.H. & G.T. Svendsen: “The global development race and the Samaritan’s dilemma: Development aid discourse in Danish agriculture, 1960-1970”.Contemporary European History, vol. 17, nr. 1, p. 97-115. (2008)

3.      Just, Flemming (2007) “Rural-urban interlinkages and regional development.”Sustainable rural development: What is the role of the agri-food sector?. red. / Martin Petrick ; Gertrud Buchenrieder. Halle (Saale): Leibniz-Institut für Agrarentwicklung in Mittel- und Osteuropa (IAMO), p. 3-17 (Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe).

4.      Svendsen, Gunnar L.H. & Jens F.L. Sørensen (2007) “There’s more to the picture than meets the eye: Measuring tangible and intangible capital in two marginal communities in rural Denmark”. Journal of Rural Studies, vol. 23, no. 4, p. 453-471.

5.      Søgaard, Villy & Madsen, S.O. (2007) “The Red Queen and the environment: reconciling public regulation and business strategy”. Business Strategy and the Environment, Volume 16, Issue 6, p. 430-441.

6.      Patulny, R. & Gunnar L.H. Svendsen (2007) “Exploring the social capital grid: Bonding, bridging, qualitative, quantitative”. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 27, nr. 1/2, s. 32-51.

7.      Nordic research project “PLIP” = Peripheral Localities and Innovation Policies. The focus of the project 2005-2006 was on local development policy supporting innovation processes in peripheral localities. It was financed by The Nordic Innovation Centre, and the reportwas published by The Nordic Council of Ministers.

Recently published IFUL Reports:

1: “Broadband technology in Rural Areas” (abstract in English)

2: “LAG-contributions to vitalization of Local Communities” (abstract in English)

3: “Esbjerg – European Capital of Culture 2017?” (abstract in English)

IFUL working papers: IFUL Working Papers:

·         Please note e.g. “Subsidy programs in rural Denmark: To whom and for which purpose?” by Lise Thomsen and Hanne W. Tanvig. It is a study of the most important rural development support programs in Denmark 2001-2005. (In English)


News on Danish collaborative projects

1.      “Why do peripheral villages grow?” On behalf of the Ministry of the Environment (Agency for Spatial and Environmental Planning), IFUL is preparing a paper on the reasons behind the unexpected growths of some small villages in peripheral rural areas. The paper will deal with structural explanations as well as with individual and specific causes. Duration: April – June 2008.

2.      Innovation in agricultural and food enterprises in rural areas): Best practice strategies and development scenarios. Duration: until end of 2009. IFUL is lead partner. Other partners: The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (University of Aarhus) and Institute of Food and Resource Economics (University of Copenhagen). Website (DK).

3.      The multifunctional agricultural landscape - development, policy and communication. The project will analyse the current development features in selected agricultural landscapes seen in relation to the public landscape management. Duration: until end of 2009. Lead partner is Forest and Landscape, Copenhagen University. Other partners: The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (University of Aarhus) and IFUL.

4.      Analysis and organization of local strategies for development in small coastal towns. The purpose is to create tools of economic development and local innovation with a special focus on handling possible conflicts between economy and identity. Duration: 2007-2009. Partners: The Ministry of Social Welfare, The Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority, the municipalities of Guldborgsund, Fanø – and recently also the municipality of Tønder is expected to partner in a similar project.


New contracts 2008 with the Ministry of Social Welfare and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries

The Institute has contracts with the two ministries for the period 2006-2010 (Ministry of Social Welfare) and 2006-2009 (Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries). Both are revised and evaluated each year. For 2008 the following has been agreed on:

1.      A database on rural and regional development.

2.      A memo on the rural areas and their regional dependence.

3.      A memo on the public sector’s importance for rural areas in the light of the Danish administrative reform 2007.

4.      A memo on the development and implementation of rural policies in the newly formed Danish municipalities.

5.      Analyses of rural development: a) an operational definition of the term ‘rural areas’, b) an analysis of rural development within fields of population, occupation, economy, education etc., c) a design for surveying rural conditions.

6.      An analysis of abolishing the residential obligation on farms.


New Danish Network on Regional and Rural Studies

The Institute has initiated a Danish Society for Rural and Regional Studies with the purpose of sharing knowledge and experience. The first proceedings will take place at ‘Axelborg’ – the premises of Danish Agricultural Council – on Thursday 2 October 2008.


International collaboration

‘Migration as a revitalising factor in rural Europe’

This is the provisional title of a project to analyse the consequences of European working migration in recent years, also including historical cases. The focus will be on the impact both in local societies and for business – in countries that are receiving work power as well as countries that are left behind. The project was launched at a meeting in Helsinki 13-14 March, and will be followed by a meeting in Esbjerg 12-13 June 2008.  The partners so far are from Finland, Norway, Latvia, Germany and Denmark. We are still looking for more partners.


Partnership organisation of rural area development

IFUL has received funds from Environment Strategies in Agriculture & Forestry at Nordic Council of Ministers to carry out a study on partnership organisation of rural development in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. Until 2009, the study shall particular focus on the experiences of LEADER partnerships. A preliminary report by postgraduate fellow Annette Aagaard Thuesen published by the Nordic Council is expected shortly.


Contact Point Denmark

In a major bid for Commission funding, IFUL has been invited to be the Danish partner monitoring the European Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.


More information or comments –

please contact administrative officer Karsten Eskildsen:

Editing was completed: