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32nd T B Macaulay Lecture - 6 June 2008

Does the idea of Integrated Rural Development still have any place in Scotland?


6th June, 2008 at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen.

Mark Shucksmith giving lecture Mark Shucksmith planting tree

A 2MB ppt and 20MB MP3 audio are now available of the presentation.

Martin Shucksmith

Professor Mark Shucksmith,
University of Newcastle upon Tyne

  • School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University
  • First Vice President, International Rural Sociological Association
  • Chair, Committee of Inquiry into Crofting
  • Commissioner, Commission for Rural Communities

Mark Shucksmith is Professor of Planning at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Vice-President of the International Rural Sociological Association, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Rural Research, University of Trondheim. Until recently he was Professor of Land Economy and Co-Director of the Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research at the University of Aberdeen, and Co-Director of the Scottish Centre for Research on Social Justice (Aberdeen and Glasgow Universities). He was appointed in 2007-08 to Chair the Committee of Inquiry into Crofting. He is a Board Member of the Commission for Rural Communities from 2005-11, and during 2005-06 he was a member of the Affordable Rural Housing Commission. He is also adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on rural issues, and secretary to JRF’s Rural Housing Policy Forum. In 2004 he was Programme Chair for the XI World Rural Sociology Congress in Trondheim, Norway. He is the author or co-author of a number of books, including ‘CAP and the Regions: the territorial impact of the CAP’ (CABI 2005), ‘Young People and Rural Policy in Europe’ (Ashgate 2004), ‘Housing in the European Countryside’ (Routledge 2003), ‘Exclusive Countryside? Social Inclusion and Regeneration in Rural Britain’ (JRF 2000), ‘Rural Scotland Today: the best of both worlds?’ (Avebury 1996) and ‘Housebuilding in Britain’s Countryside’ (Routledge 1990).

He recently coordinated four EU research projects, Policies and Young People in Rural Development (7 countries); the Rural Development Transfer Network under the Northern Periphery Programme (4 countries); Restructuring in Marginal Rural Areas – The Role of Social Capital in Rural Development (6 countries) and an EU ESPON study of The Territorial Impact of the CAP and Rural Development Policy (7 countries). Recent papers have appeared in Sociologia Ruralis, Social Policy and Administration, European Planning Studies, the Journal of Agricultural Economics, Land Use Policy and the Community Development Journal. His main areas of research include rural development, social exclusion in rural areas, agricultural change and pluriactivity, and rural policy. He has provided advice to governments and agencies in several countries. He was expert adviser to the Environment & Rural Development Committee of the Scottish Parliament, and is a member of the Scottish Executive’s Scientific Strategic Advisory Committee. He has recently been appointed Special Adviser on rural development to the RAE2008 sub-panel on Town & Country Planning.


Recently, the OECD review of rural policy in Scotland argued that integration is needed between the many organisations involved – a conclusion that harks back to earlier models of Integrated Rural Development. This talk asks whether the concept of Integrated Rural Development still has any meaning in the context of the new approaches to rural governance being adopted within Scotland and more widely across Europe? These approaches are characterised by multi-level interactions (including vertical and horizontal partnerships) between public, private and voluntary sectors, in what is sometimes seen as a 'nobody-in-charge world'.

The talk seeks to link the question about integrated rural development to re-theorisations of concepts of spatial planning, place-shaping, capacity-building and neo-endogenous development. It considers how rural development policies in Scotland, and Europe more generally, might be re-cast through supporting the empowerment of local communities. The talk will conclude by asking how we might strike an appropriate balance between enabling and mobilising local actors to pursue their own strategic agendas and the desire of governments to impose their agendas. Might rural communities actually be better served by 'disintegrated rural development'?  


Updated: 23 Jan 2024, Content by: JL