Monday 5
Self-subsistence farming, informal and non-profit economy in Eastern European Countries : causes and consequences - A Social Sciences Perspective
Catherine Darrot, Marie-Luce Ghib, Marjorie Jouen, Frédérique Lorenzi
› 11:05 - 18:00 (6h55)
› Agde
How to escape the trap? A systems approach to foster rural development in Central Romania
Friederike Mikulcak  1@  
1 : Leuphana University Lueneburg  (Leuphana)  -  Website -  Allemagne

Central Romania is one of Europe's most significant strongholds of cultural and natural heritage. Yet, at present, the region appears to be locked in a state of structural poverty, outmigration, and land abandonment, which together challenge the region's ecological and social systems. Even 6 years after joining the European Union, EU structural funds or rural development measures do not seem to have adequately fostered the sustainable development of the area. On the contrary, Romania's integration into the EU common market and multi-level governance system, and implicitly the emergence of new economic and political actors, appear to have further exacerbated emigration and the overall marginalization of the region. Romanian authorities – from the national to the local level – do not seem to have the capacity or political will to halt this trend.
During two months of field work in Central Romania in 2012, interviews were conducted with 350 people from 66 villages to investigate the current state of the social-ecological system as well as barriers to the region's development. In doing so, several key barriers emerged, which were subsequently discussed in depth with 11 key individuals who actively worked for the region's development. Identified barriers ranged from dysfunctional institutions and ethnic cleavages to collective action problems. Applying concepts of traps, as described in the resilience and development literature, this study focuses on the institutional settings locking the social-ecological system of Central Romania in its currently undesired state. By means of a causal loop diagram, processes underpinning this trap are depicted. This, in turn, provides the basis for identifying leverage points to move the system towards a more desired trajectory.

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