CALL FOR PAPERS

Sustaining Rural Systems: Rural Vitality in an Era of Globalization and
Economic Nationalism: A
Colloquium & Field Study

21-26 July 2019

Saint Paul, Minnesota – Eau Claire, Wisconsin USA

The key organizing theme for the 27th Annual Colloquium of the CSRS is “Sustaining Rural Systems: Rural Vitality in an Era of Globalization and Economic Nationalism.” The Midwestern region of the United States will be the “living laboratory” in which Colloquium participants will explore the increasingly diverse economic and social trajectories of rural communities.  Research papers addressing the Colloquium theme and sub-themes (detailed below), from any rural area in any part of the world, are welcome and offer space for dialog about sustainability as it applies to local areas that may be vastly different from one another.   

The terms “globalization” and “economic nationalism” often stand in contrast to each other.  For example, Cawley notes that “Globalization is a defining feature of recent decades. Places at great distances from each other throughout the world are linked together through flows of ideas, people, goods and investment, facilitated by advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and in transport…” (Cawley 2013 p. 1).  In this framing, the global flow of goods, services and peoples extends beyond national boundaries. However, as a counterpoint to globalization, economic nationalism suggests the privileging of one’s own national economy over that of other countries or regions. As noted by Baughn and Yaprak “The readiness to support nationalist economic policy is a function of the perceived economic threat posed by foreign competition.  Economic nationalism is linked with personal job insecurity, authoritarianism, and intolerance of ambiguity. Economic nationalism is also found to be negatively related to individual cosmopolitanism” (1996, p. 759). While narratives of globalization have highlighted the danger of homogenization of cultures and places for several decades, recent discussions of and trends towards economic nationalism have spawned increasing debate over the complexities of local, regional, and global economies.  Despite trends towards globalization and counter arguments for economic nationalism, however, local places remain important.  

This Colloquium and Field Study is organized around four key sub-themes highlighting the importance of “local” while interrogating the relationships between local social and economic vitality and national and global trends.  The first sub-theme of the Colloquium is titled “Rural Innovations: Entrepreneurship and Rural-Urban Partnerships.” This sub-theme highlights conventional and perceptual barriers between rural and urban regions and examines activities and opportunities for building healthy and sustainable regional networks, including innovative and collaborative activities (economic, social, administrative, etc.) which demonstrate the opportunities gained from regional collaborations.  These collaborations combine the complementing strengths and resources of rural and urban areas. The hope is that, by not only validating, but valorizing, the role of rural regions, there will be greater acknowledgement of rural regions as mutually benefiting partners in a system, and not losers in a zero-sum equation of human and economic resource distribution.  This sub-theme also attempts to provide insights into the experiences of local school administrators, government officials, and local businesses with the perspectives and support of academics. The emphasis is on linking local knowledge with global knowledge (Sanders 1994), recognizing opportunities, empowering people, and building regional networks. This sub-theme is infused throughout the Field Study, through organized discussions and panel sessions with local civic and business leaders at many of the Field Study sites, discussed in more detail in the other sub-themes.

The second sub-theme, “Recognizing rural demographic diversity,” highlights the rapidly changing demographic landscape of rural regions.  Academic papers within this sub-theme will focus on questions of changing ethnic, racial, age, and indigenous profiles for rural communities in the Midwest region and case studies from around the world.  Some rural areas, particularly those with natural amenities, struggle to manage the social and economic disparity created by second home ownership, tourism economies and seasonal work (Amit-Cohen 2013, Stedman 2006, Jones & Selwood 2013).  In other places, long-term economic decline and out-migration creates challenges for rapidly aging populations and their increased need for health care options, rural poverty alleviation, and provision of services, such as schools, and employment opportunities for youth and young adults (Long et al. 2013, Woods 2005).  Further challenges arise when new industries relocate to rural places and bring with them new ethnically and socially diverse populations (Maher 2013, Barcus and Simmons 2013), creating demands for rural communities to provide education, housing, and health care for new populations. While these challenges are exemplified in many rural regions of the U.S., including the Field Study area of the Midwest, they also manifest in communities across the globe.  

The Field Study incorporates several opportunities to meet with local civic leaders and community groups to discuss how new populations are changing the social and economic fabric of rural places.  For example, participants will visit the Fond du Lac Cultural Center for a conversation with local tribal members of the Fond du Lac Band of the Chippewa Nation.  

The third and fourth sub-themes are titled “Land Use Transitions” and “Agricultural Transitions,” respectively.  The restructuring of rural economies and “trends within global economic restructuring such as the liberalization of global trade and the increasingly ‘foot-loose’ nature of economic enterprises as dependence on particular resources in particular places has been diminished by technological advances; as well as more locally contingent factors such as improved infrastructure in rural areas, and higher levels of educational attainment in the rural population” (Woods 2005, p. 63).  One of the primary processes of restructuring has been the shift from production-oriented rural economies to consumption-oriented rural economies (Woods 2005, p. 173). Post-productive rural landscapes herald less favorable economic prospects for production-based, or “traditional,” rural economies such as mining, forestry, fishing, and agriculture. Post-productive, consumption-based rural economies are often based on tourism or other service-oriented development, such as telephone call centers (Woods 2005, p.63).  New economies and land uses are cause for a range of conflict between different user groups. For example, conflict over rangelands in the western U.S. between traditional ranchers and new residents has resulted in a range of new policy implications for these areas (see for example Loffler and Steinicke, 2006). Globally, questions of tourism development and who benefits (and loses) from such development have also garnered attention (see for example Chio 2014). Concerns over the conservation and preservation of natural areas, particularly in areas where such preservation might be perceived to impede other types of economic development, can lead to highly charged social environments.  One such example is the recent controversy over copper-nickel sulfide mining in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (Forgrave 2017). The traditional economies of northern Minnesota, including mining and logging, stand in contrast to a view of nature as needing protection from development. Similar conflicts over preferred land uses arise between tourists or short-term, summer residents and long-term full-time residents, with summer residents often favoring recreation amenities and conservation of wild areas, while full-time residents may favor resource development with greater economic opportunities, such as logging. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss these tensions with local leaders and residents in several of the Field Study sites.   

Embedded within these overarching debates about land use changes in rural places are specific changes in the food production systems.  Globally, agricultural production ranges from mega farms and international agribusiness to individual subsistence farming practices. How these systems are both competitive and interlinked is subject of much academic and public debate (Robinson 2013).  Key agricultural debates surround the sustainability of large-scale agriculture and its impact on natural systems, while small-scale agriculture, sometimes viewed as more environmentally and socially sustainable, is challenged for its economic viability in the largely corporatized agribusiness.     

Participants in the Colloquium will have the opportunity to learn more about different forms of agriculture in this region of the U.S. as well as the rural-urban linkages inherent in this rapidly diversifying economy.  For example, participants will tour the Four Cubs Dairy Farm in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, the largest roboticized dairy farm in Wisconsin and fifth largest in the U.S., as well as the Eau Claire Farmers Market, which hosts local food producers in downtown Eau Claire.  The Colloquium will conclude at the Common Harvest Farm, in Osceola, Wisconsin as an example of farm-to-table agriculture. The Burnett Dairy Cooperative, in Grantsburg, Wisconsin is an example of a local agricultural enterprise linking both the smaller regional dairies with a regional distribution network.  Lastly, time spent on the S.S. William A. Irvin and a Duluth Harbor overview tour provides an example of the global shipping fleet that connects rural mining and farming operations in the upper Midwest to global markets. All of these sites provide opportunities to engage with local experts and industries, both small and large-scale, which comprise the rural economies of the upper rural Midwest region.

 

LOCATION AND VENUE

The geographic location of the 2019 CSRS Colloquium will be the rural Midwest region of the United States, specifically the area extending from Rochester, Minnesota to Duluth, Minnesota (North-to-South) and Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Saint Paul, Minnesota (East-to-West). The rural Midwest is a strategically suitable region of the United States to host the IGU-CSRS Colloquium because it offers access to a cross-section of rural geographies that will allow participants to examine rural social, economic, and agricultural communities and environments in a relatively compact geographic space.  The Field Study route will explore areas south of Minneapolis and Saint Paul (the Twin Cities) metropolitan area, which fall into McKnight’s definition of “the Heartland,” as well as areas as far north as Lake Superior, which falls into the “Boreal Forest” region (McKnight 2004). The “Heartland” is characterized by moderate population densities, extensive areas of cropland and pasture, including corn, winter wheat, soybeans, oats, hay, beef and dairy farms, with large-scale agricultural operations a common landscape feature (summarized from McKnight, p. 250-265).

 

REFERENCES

Amit-Cohen, Irit. 2013. Heritage landscape fabrics in the rural zone: An integrated approach to conservation. Globalization and New Challenges of Agricultural and Rural Systems: Proceedings of the 21st Colloquium of the CSRS of the IGU. Nagoya, Japan. Eds. Doo-Chul Kim, Ana Maria Firmino, Yasuo Ichikawa. Nagoya University: Japan. pp. 79-88.

Barcus, H.R. and Laura Simmons. 2013. Ethnic Restructuring in rural America: Migration and the changing faces of rural communities in the Great Plains.  Professional Geographer 65(1): 130-152.

Baughn,  Christopher C. and Attila Yaprak. 1996. Nationalism: Conceptual and Empirical Development. Political Psychology 17(4): 759-778.

Cawley, Mary. 2013. Introduction: Context and Contents. In The Sustainability of Rural Systems: Global and Local Challenges and Opportunities. Eds. Mary Cawley, Ana Maria de S.M. Bicalho, Lucette Laurens. CSRS of the IGU and the Whitaker Institute, National University of Ireland Galway. pp. 1-14.

Chio, Jenny. 2014. A Landscape of Travel: The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic China. University of Washington Press: Seattle.

Forgrave, Reid. 2017. “In Northern Minnesota, Two Economies Square Off: Mining vs. Wilderness.” New York Times, October 12, 2017.   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/magazine/in-northern-minnesota-two-economies-square-off-mining-vs-wilderness.html. Last Accessed 13 July 2018.

Jones, Roy & John Selwood. 2013. The politics of sustainability and heritage in two Western Australian Coastal Shack communities. Globalization and New Challenges of Agricultural and Rural Systems: Proceedings of the 21st Colloquium of the CSRS of the IGU. Nagoya, Japan. Eds. Doo-Chul Kim, Ana Maria Firmino, Yasuo Ichikawa. Nagoya University: Japan. pp.89-100.

Loffler, Roland and Ernst Steinicke. 2006. Counterurbanization and its socioeconomic effects in high mountain areas of the Sierra Nevada. Mountain Research and Development 26(1):64-71.

Long, Hualoa, Yurui Li, Yansui Liu, Xingna Zhang. 2013. Population and Settlement Change in China’s Countryside: Causes and Consequences. In The Sustainability of Rural Systems: Global and Local Challenges and Opportunities. Eds. Mary Cawley, Ana Maria de S.M. Bicalho, Lucette Laurens. CSRS of the IGU and the Whitaker Institute, National University of Ireland Galway. pp. 123-133.

Maher, Garret. 2013. Attitudes to Brazilian Migrants in Rural Ireland in Conditions of Economic Growth and Decline. In The Sustainability of Rural Systems: Global and Local Challenges and Opportunities. Eds. Mary Cawley, Ana Maria de S.M. Bicalho, Lucette Laurens. CSRS of the IGU and the Whitaker Institute, National University of Ireland Galway. pp. 161-172.

McKnight, Tom. 2004. Regional Geography of the United States and Canada. Fourth Edition. Pearson Education, Inc.: New Jersey.

Robinson, Guy. 2013. Agricultural Sustainability: Local Challenges in a Global Context. In The Sustainability of Rural Systems: Global and Local Challenges and Opportunities. Eds. Mary Cawley, Ana Maria de S.M. Bicalho, Lucette Laurens. CSRS of the IGU and the Whitaker Institute, National University of Ireland Galway. pp.15-26.

Sanders, Scott Russell. 1994. Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World. Beacon Press:  Boston.

Stedman, Richard C. 2006. Understanding Place Attachment Among Second Home Owners. American Behavioral Scientist. 50(2):187-205.

Woods, Michael. 2005.  Rural Geography. Sage Publications, Ltd: London.

 

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

Important Dates & Deadlines

> 15 October 2018: First call for paper and poster abstracts

> 1 December 2018: Second call for paper and poster abstracts

> 15 January 2019: Abstracts submission deadline

> 5 March 2019: Notification of abstract acceptance

> 5 March 2019: Conference registration opens

> 15 April  2019: Regular registration closes. Late registration opens.

> 1 May 2019: Late registration closes.  On-campus housing registration closes.

 

Questions? Contact Us at 2019igu-csrs@macalester.edu