Thesis subject

Thesis topics Bettina Bock

I am involved in research on the differentiation of the countryside, reflected in counter-urbanisation and gentrification as well as population decline and marginalisation. In the context of population decline I am curious to better understand the opportunities and constraints of civic engagement and social innovation as a tool to maintain the quality of life and preserve social services. I am also very interested in the role of mobility and migration, the role that (temporary and former) residents of rural areas can play in rural development, the role of networking between people and regions that arise from migration and the opportunities this connectivity provides for supra-regional and transnational cooperation in rural development. I am also interested in the (cultural) urbanisation of rural areas and the changing values around agricultural production as particularly reflected in discussions on animal husbandry and animal welfare.

Fields of expertise

  • Population decline, migration, mobility
  • Urbanisation and gentrification of the rural
  • Rural marginalisation
  • Rural-urban relations
  • Spatial inequality, social and territorial exclusion
  • Gender relations
  • Animal welfare and the acceptability of animal husbandry/agriculture

Topics for thesis

  • Intra-European rural-to-rural migration into the rural areas and its effect om rural development ‘here and there’
  • Spatial inequality as reflected in patterns of migration and mobility
  • Social networking, rural-urban relations and its effect on rural development
  • Social innovation and the new cooperative movement in the rural
  • Collaboration between socially innovative initiatives in rural and urban contexts
  • New rural entrepreneurship in rural areas with population decline
  • Policies around population decline in international perspective
  • Motives and expectation of young rural residents to either stay or leave
  • Business strategies of women farmers and female successors