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Oliver Müller: Flourishing landscapes: Producing the green countryside in EU rural development policy

Case study as part of the DFG research project “Participative development of rural regions. Everyday cultural negotiations of the European Union’s LEADER programme”

Duration: since 01/2017 

Oliver Müller M.A.

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"Flourishing landscapes: Producing the green countryside in EU rural development policy"

This multi-sited project forms part of the larger DFG-funded research project “Participative development of rural regions”. It addresses the question, how rural natures, such as historical farmer gardens, orchards   and village greens are (re-) constructed  in the context of participative development measures for rural areas. The project scrutinizes how these rural natures are semiotically and materially constructed, and how participants enact rural natures in their everyday dwelling in an embodided and affective sense. It analyzes how the social practices related to rural natures are transformed and conversely transform those spaces in the context of development measures. The measures under consideration aim to integrate bio-cultural heritage revitalisation strategies into the domain of everyday life. Firstly, the ideas, concepts and representations of nature (e.g. as ecosystem, living environment, landscape) employed and their practical use in engendering a problematization of nature (e.g. the loss of biodiversity) are investigated. Secondly, but in the same analytical frame, the material practices, geared towards the transformation of rural natures are scrutinized. Thirdly, these material-semiotic entanglements are analysed as highly variagated socionatures, which are continually reworked in the place-specific fabric of human and non-human agents, yet, whose relations of production extend beyond the immediate locality. Empirically, the research project draws on extended ethnographic as well as discourse analytical and semiotic data. Theoretically it is inspired by insights from Environmental Anthropology, Social Ecology and More-than-human geography.

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Publications

Oliver Müller (2021): Making Landscapes of (Be)longing. Territorialization in the Context of the EU Development Program LEADER in North Rhine-Westphalia. In: European Countryside. (accepted, peer-reviewed)

Oliver Müller (2020): The production of rural natures as materialization of village-ness? In: M. Trummer & A. Decker (Eds.): City, Country - End? The Rural as a Framework for Cultural Analysis. Bielefeld: Transcript. DOI: 10.14361/9783839449905-003. (forthcoming) [article in German]

Oliver Müller (2020): Der Driesch – Die (Re)Konstruktion einer historischen Kulturlandschaft. Territoralisierungspraktiken im Kontext des LEADER-Programms. In: Michaela Fenske / Arnika Peselmann / Daniel Best (Hg.): Ländliches vielfach! Leben und Wirtschaften in erweiterten sozialen Entitäten. Bielefeld: Transcript. (forthcoming)

Oliver Müller / Ove Sutter / Sina Wohlgemuth (2019): Translating the Bottom-up Frame. Everyday Negotiations of the European Union’s Rural Development Programme LEADER. In: Anthropological Journal of European Cultures 28 (2), pp. 45-65. DOI: 10.3167/ajec.2019.280204. (peer reviewed)

Oliver Müller / Ove Sutter / Sina Wohlgemuth (2020): Learning to LEADER. Ritualised Performances of 'Participation' in Local Arenas of Participatory Rural Governance. In: Sociologia Ruralis 60 (1), pp. 222-242. DOI: 10.1111/soru.12287. (peer reviewed)

 
 

Presentations

"Participative development of rural regions – Lessons from three LEADER regions in North Rhine-Westphalia.” Presentation in the context of the closing conference „The Participative Village. Governing Rural Everyday Worlds in Times of the New Rural Paradigm” of the DFG-project „Partizipative Entwicklung ländlicher Regionen.” 08 -10 October 2020, Bonn University (virtual conference).

"Flourishing landscapes: Performing rural sensescapes in the context of the EU's rural development program LEADER." Presentation in the context of the SIAA-conference "LA CITTÀ Antropologia applicata ai territori", 12 - 14 December 2019, Ferrara University.

"Blühende Landschaften. Die Herstellung ruraler Naturen im Kontext des EU Entwicklungsprogramms für den ländlichen Raum LEADER." Presentation in the context of the dgv-kongress "Welt. Wissen. Gestalten", 7 - 10 October 2019, Hamburg University.

"Die Rekonstruktion einer rheinischen Kulturlandschaft. Einblicke in das DFG-Projekt Partizipative Entwicklung ländlicher Regionen." Presentation in the context of the conference "Herrschaftsnorm und Herrschaftspraxis im Kurfürstentum Köln", 23 - 24 September 2019, Bonn University.

"Participative development of rural regions. Everyday cultural negotiations of the European Union's LEADER program". Presentation in the context of the SIEF-conference "Track Changes: Reflecting on a Transforming World", 14 - 17 April 2019, Santiago de Compostela.

"Der Driesch - die Lebensgrundlage einer ländlichen Gemeinde?" Presentation in the context of the conference "Ländliches vielfach! Leben und Wirtschaften in erweiteren sozialen Entitäten", 4 - 6 April 2019, Department of European Ethnology, Würzburg University.

"Die Herstellung ruraler Naturen als Materialisierung des Ländlichen?" Presentation in the context of the dgv-convention "Stadt, Land - Schluss?" 13 - 15 September 2018, Department of Comparative European Ehtnology, Regensburg University.

"'Einfach mal wachsen lassen' Die Herstellung ruraler Naturen als umstrittendes Feld der Be-Deutung von Natur." Presentation in the context of the mid-term workshop "Ländliche Alltagskulturen regieren. Perspektiven der Kulturanalyse politischer Prozesse in ländlichen Regionen“ at the Department of Cultural Anthropology, 21 - 22 June 2018, Bonn University.

"Zurück aufs Land. Partizipative Entwicklung ländlicher Regionen." Presentation in the context of the workshop "Land / Stadt als räumliche Ordnungen und Kategorien" at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 17 - 18 May 2018, Zurich University.

„Partizipative Entwicklung ländlicher Regionen. Ethnografische Zugänge zum LEADER-Programm der Europäischen Union.“ Presentation in the context of the workshop "Kulturwissenschaftliche Stadt-Land-Forschungen in der Diskussion" of the network cultural urban studies, 22 - 23 February 2018, Vienna University.

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