This page provides details of the published work that has been produced as a result of the IMPACT programme. In many instances these documents can be downloaded as Adobe Acrobat (Pdf) documents from this website. In others they are available via normal publishing sources.

Scientific Journals (special editions)

The theoretical analysis that has been applied in the IMPACT programme and examples of innovative RD practices are highlighted in special issues of two scientific journals.

Sociologia Ruralis
Volume 40 Number 4 October 2000
Special issue on The Socio-economic Impact of Rural Development: Realities and potentials

Edited by Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, Henk Renting & Marilyn Minderhoud-Jones
Blackwell Publishers
ISSN 0038-0199

This issue covers various European examples of RD, including Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and wine routes in Italy, the Tir Cymen agri-environment scheme in Wales and pluriactivity in Ireland. Different theoretical approaches (such as the rural livelihood framework, neo-institutional economics and agro-ecology) are applied in order to explain the newly emerging reality of RD. See contents

Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning
Volume 3 Number 2 April-June 2001
Special issue on Reconstituting Nature through Rural Development Practices

Edited by Terry Marsden, Jo Banks, Henk Renting & Jan Douwe van der Ploeg
John Wiley & Sons
ISSN 1523-908X

This issue focuses on the possible role of RD practices in strengthening ecological sustainability. Various examples are described, including the REPS agri-environment scheme in Ireland, environmental co-operatives in the Netherlands and organic farming in the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy. See contents


Living Countrysides: Rural Development Processes in Europe
- The State of the Art

Edited by Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, Ann Long & Jo Banks
Elsevier, Doetinchem

This book describes some of the most successful current RD practices in the European countryside. Written in an easy-to-read fashion the book takes the form of an ‘Atlas of RD’ with full-colour pictures of the case studies. The book also contains easily digestible analysis of the distribution, impact and potential of these RD activities in a number of European countries.

Available from Elsevier

Farming with Nature: Organic Farming in Europe and its Role in Rural Development
(To be published Autumn 2002)

Edited by Mara Miele, Henk Renting and Jon Murdoch
European Perspectives on Rural Development: Van Gorcum Assen.

This book analyses the development of organic food markets in Europe and how these relate to RD. Case studies are presented from the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as an assessment of the socio-economic impact of organic farming at national level. An important conclusion is that organic food markets in different countries develop along very different lines. Differences between standardised / dedicated and between industrial and regionally embedded supply chains strongly influence the extent in which organic production contributes to RD objectives.

Available from: (

Relocalising Food: Quality Food Production in Europe and its Role in Rural Development
(To be published Autumn 2002)

Edited by Kees de Roest, Henk Renting & Nicholas Parrott
European Perspectives on Rural Development: Van Gorcum Assen

In recent years there has been a growth of interest in the contribution that regionally specific and high quality food products make to RD objectives. This book describes the diversity of regional, quality, food initiatives throughout Europe, including the strengthening of traditional products that have protected status as regional specialties as well as new forms of regionally embedded artisanal food production. This book examines how these regional foods position themselves, and compete in an increasingly global and homogenised trading circuit and the relevance of such an approach for RD policies.

Available from: (

Conceptualising RD: Towards a theory of contemporary Rural Development processes in Europe
(To be published in Winter 2002)

Edited by Jan Douwe van der Ploeg & Henk Renting
European Perspectives on Rural Development: Van Gorcum Assen

This book brings together a number of innovative contributions to the theoretical debate on contemporary Rural Development processes in Europe. The different papers build on theoretical approaches as diverse as the rural livelihood framework, actor-network theory, neo-institutional economics and agro-ecology. Together, however, they make clear that the contours of a new, coherent Rural Development theory are emerging.

Available from: (

Working Papers

Farmers’ Attitudes to Rural Development: Results of a Transnational Survey
By Henk Oostindie and Nicholas Parrott

This Working Paper presents the results of a transnational survey amongst 3,250 professional farmers in 6 European countries. It analyses current levels of activity and potential interest among farmers in RD activities as well as the consequences of RD activity for farm incomes and employment. Cluster analysis is employed to identify actual and potential synergies involved in various combinations of RD activity. The survey also identifies the driving forces and constraints experienced by farmers involved in RD activities, farmers attitudes to RD and the policies and agencies currently driving it. An Executive summary and the full version of the report can be downloaded here.

Rural Development Practices and Policies: The Role of EU Policy and the Evolution of Rural Development in seven EU Countries
Edited by Monica Gorman, Henk Renting & Joe Mannion

The series of articles presented in this working paper capture the rural development experience of seven EU states. In each case the story is told of the current status of the RD practices in that country and how these have been driven or inhibited by EU and national policies and other driving forces. Each case study examines the extent to which wider, global, factors interact with policies to strengthen or weaken the RD practices within different countries and regions. The experiences described in this report provide a clear and definitive picture of the role of EU and national policies in the evolution of livelihood practices. This report can be downloaded here.

Case-study reports
By various authors

The full reports of 31 case studies of RD practices from 6 different EU countries have been published as part of the IMPACT Working Paper series. These case studies cover a wide range of different types of RD activities, including quality food and organic production, marketing and processing initiatives, agri-environmental management schemes and co-operatives, agri-tourism, and a range of non-food production diversification strategies. Summaries and full reports of the case studies can be downloaded here.

An RD Toolbox: Methodological and Conceptual Issues in the Study of Rural Development
(To be published in Autumn 2002)
By Henk Renting, Dirk Roep & Karlheinz Knickel

This Working Paper gives an overview of the methodologies and research tools that were developed in the IMPACT programme. A general outline is presented of an over-all methodology to map the diversity of RD practices at national/regional level and to assess socio-economic impact for different types of RD activity. The report concludes that the study of RD practices is complicated by a lack of official data and adequate methods for impact assessment. This report can be downloaded here.

Journal Articles

ALONSO MIELGO, A.M. & GUZMÁN CASADO, G.I. (2000) - Asociaciones de productores y consumidores de productos ecológicos de Andalucía: una experiencia de canales cortos de distribución de productos de calidad.
En: Phytoma España, nº 124. Pp. 30-38.

FROUWS, J. & PLOEG, J.D. VAN DER (1999) - On Power and Weakness, Capacity and Impotence: Rigidity and Flexibility in Food Chains.
In: International Planning Studies 4 (1999) 3. p. 333 – 347.

FROUWS, J. & PLOEG, J.D. VAN DER (2000) - Issues of quality in Dutch dairying.
In: Dairy Industry Restructuring / Harry K. Schwarzweller and Andrew P. Davidson. Amsterdam, New York, Oxford, Shannon, Singapore, Tokyo : JAI/ An Imprint of Elsevier Science, 2000.

GUZMÁN CASADO, G.I., GONZÁLEZ DE MOLINA, M. & SEVILLA GUZMÁN E. (Coord.) (2000) - Introducción a la Agroecología como desarrollo rural sostenible.
Madrid: Mundi-Prensa.

KINSELLA, J., J. MANNION, P. BOGUE & P. SLATTERY (1999) - Creating a new Future for Dairy Farm Households: The County Clare Partnership Dairy Action-Research Programme.
Department of Agri-business, Extension and Rural Development, University College Dublin.

KNICKEL, K. (2000) - Changes in farming systems, landscape and nature: key success factors of agri-environmental schemes (AES).
In: Ehrendorfer, F., H. Palme & G. Schrammel (Hrsg.) Changing agriculture and landscape: Ecology, Management, and biodiversity decline in antropogenous mountain grassland. EURO-MAB, Vienna, 67-74.

KNICKEL, K. (2000) - Socio-economic impacts of bio-energy production and its (potential) importance for the future development of rural areas.
In: Ierland, E. van, A. Oude Lansing & E. Schmieman 2000. Sustainable Energy: New Challenges for Agriculture and Implications for Land use. Wageningen, Netherlands.

MARSDEN, T.K., BANKS, J., & BRISTOW, G. (2001) - The social management of nature: understanding agrarian based rural development.
Environment and Planning A.

MAULEÓN, J. (2000) - Estrategias familiares rurales en el País Vasco.
In: Fernández de Larrinoa, K. (Ed) La cosecha pendiente. De la intervención económica a la infraestructura cultural y comunitaria. Madrid: La Catarata

MENGHI, A. & DE ROEST, K. (2000) - Lo scalogno di Romagna, una coltura di successo.
Agricoltura, n.6, 2000.

MIELE, M. (2001) - Creating sustainability. The social construction of the market for Organic products.
PhD Thesis. Wageningen University.

PLOEG, J.D. VAN DER (1999) - Endogenous Development : Practices and Perspectives in Europe.
In: Compas Newsletter for Endogenous Development, (1999) February, p. 1 – 15

RENTING, H., T.K. MARSDEN & J. BANKS (2002) - Understanding Alternative Food Networks: Exploring the Role of Short Food Supply Chains in Rural Development.
Environment and Planning A.

ROEST, K. DE (2000) - The production of Parmigiano-Reggiano chees. The force of an artisanal system in an industrialised world.
PhD Thesis. Wageningen University.

SEVILLA GUZMÁN, E. & ALONSO MIELGO, A.M. (1999) - Reflexiones sociológicas sobre la agroecología.
In: Inguruak, 25. Pp. 167-172.

WISKERKE, J.S.C. (2001) - Rural development and multi-functional agriculture. Topics for a new socio-economic research agenda.
Tijdschrift voor Sociaalwetenschappelijk onderzoek van de Landbouw, 16(2), pp. 114-119.

WISKERKE, J.S.C. (2002) - On promising niches and constraining socio-technical regimes: the case of Dutch wheat and bread.
Environment and Planning A.

Conference Papers

ALONSO MIELGO, A.M. (2000) - Agenda 2000 for Organic Agriculture in Europe and in the Mediterranean.
IFOAM, Córdoba, 9-10 June 2000.

ALONSO MIELGO, A.M. & GUZMÁN CASADO, G.I. (2000) - Asociaciones de productores y consumidores de productos ecológicos de Andalucía: una experiencia de canales cortos de distribución de productos de calidad.
IV Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Agricultura Ecológica, Córdoba, 19-23 September 2000.

BANKS, J., & PARROTT, N (2000) - Forward to the Past: The strange case of farmers' markets.
X World Congress of the IRSA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 29 July - 6 August 2000.

BROEKHUIZEN, R. VAN (1999) - The malleability of agrarian and rural employment: the political challenges ahead.
EU seminar Prevention of depopulation in rural areas, Joensuu, Finland, 2 October 1999.

BRUNORI G. (2000) - Alternative trade or market fragmentation? Food circuits and social movements.
X World Congress of the IRSA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 29 July - 6 August 2000.

KINSELLA, J., P. BOGUE & J. MANNION (2000) - Rural Renewal through Business Development by Dairy Farm Households.
Paper presented at to the Agricultural Economics Society of Ireland, 21 February 2000.

KNICKEL, K., J.D. VAN DER PLOEG & H. RENTING (2002) – Rural Development (RD): the Central Plank of Policies for Rural Areas in the 21st Century.
Agricultural Research Forum 2002, Dublin, 11-12 March 2002.

KNICKEL, K. (2000) - Using a systems approach to better understand the functional relationships between an ‘innovative agriculture’ and rural development.
In: AFSRE (eds.) 4th European Farming and Rural Systems Research and Extension Symposium ‘Into the Next Millennium’, Volos, Greece, 125-134.

KNICKEL, K. (2000) - Towards a better understanding of the functional relationships between (organic) agriculture and rural development.
In: Aföldi, T., W. Lockeretz & U. Niggli (Hrsg.) 2000. Proceedings of the 13. International IFOAM Scientific Conference, 28.-31.8.2000, Basel. Zürich. VdF Hochschulverlag, 634.

MAULEÓN, J. (2000) - Productive and social differentiation in family farms in the Basque Country (Spain).
X World Congress of the IRSA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 29 July - 6 August 2000.

MAULEÓN, J. (2001) - Impacto de la cooperativa agraria Laneko sobre el Desarrollo Rural.
V Congreso Vasco De Sociologia, 1-2 March 2001.

MIELE, M. & PINDUCCIU, D. (2000) - The Impact of Regional Rural Development Policies: the case of Organic farming in Tuscany.
X World Congress of the IRSA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 29 July - 6 August 2000.

RAMOS, G. (2001) - Cambios en la agricultura vasca a través del análisis comparativo de los censos agrarios de 1989 y 1999.
V Congreso Vasco De Sociologia, 1-2 March 2001.

PLOEG, J.D. VAN DER (2002) - High Quality Products and Regional Specialties: A Promising Trajectory for Endogenous and Sustainable Development.
OECD Conference The Future of Rural Policy, Siena, Italy, 10-12 July 2002.

RENTING, H. (2001) - El papel futuro de la actividad agraria en el Desarrollo Rural.
V Congreso Vasco De Sociologia, 1-2 March 2001.

SEVILLA GUZMÁN, E., GONZÁLEZ DE MOLINA, M. & ALONSO MIELGO, A. (2001) - El desarrollo rural de la "otra modernidad" elementos para recampesinización de la agricultura industrializada desde la agroecología.
V Congreso Vasco De Sociologia, 1-2 March 2001.