4.3 Opportunities for and challenges to regional development and social cohesion
Research proposals under this theme will include comparative, multiple-methodology using, boundary spanning (academia-policy-practice) studies on the nature and impacts of economic, political, social and/or environmental developments on sub-national level. Research may look at urban and rural issues, as well as make use of the notions of city-region and other hybrid spaces.
Key topics where joint research may be of particular benefit would include:
- the development challenges and solutions in sparsely populated areas (e.g. strategies against poverty and for sustainable local development, including social services, networks of enterprises, social innovation);
- the changing patterns of land use and their impact on sustainability and local production systems (e.g. the presence of industrial companies in agricultural and primary production, impact on market chains and local food systems);
- agency, community initiatives, and associations for local development;
- different forms of civil society and governance systems and their interrelation on local level;
- research and business links for regional development, avenues for multi-stakeholder collaboration, new economic forms, and organisational innovation.
Social cohesion is inherent and linked to any of the above mentioned themes and it concerns exploring the sharing of values, sense of belonging, civic participation, trust, justice, equality and others.