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CRE public lecture by Bettina Bock and informal book launch / Thursday May 25th

Prof dr. ir. Bettina B. Bock is a Newcastle University Visiting Prof at the Centre for Rural Economy (CRE). As part of her appointment at Newcastle, she will give a CRE Public Lecture on 25 May at the Lit & Phil

Emptiness and space – peripheralisation in the Netherlands, by Prof dr. ir. Bettina B. Bock

25 May 2017, 17.00-19.30 at The Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle, NE1 1SE


In the last decade population decline has become a serious issue in the more remote rural areas in the Netherlands. Young people are leaving those areas in search for higher education and do not return as the areas have little to offer in terms of highly qualified employment. As a result the composition of the population in these areas is changing – in terms of age, education and income, health and longevity. At the same time, public budgets cuts and a reorganisation of the welfare state puts service levels under pressure and with that the quality of life in those areas. In the Netherlands, this development is a very topical issue as it is part of a more general process of social segregation and polarisation which, with the experience of the election in the US and the Brexit referendum in the UK, is frightening politicians. At the same time, it is not really taken seriously and often disregarded a problem of those ‘shrinking areas’. I suggest that this process may be better understood if we look more in detail into the process of peripheralisation; how remote rural areas in the Netherlands, which are actually relatively remote at best, become peripheral – materially and discursively. They are considered as empty – offering nothing of interest – with little acknowledgement of what they offer as space of opportunities. This makes a fascinating contrast with the UK, where the rural seems still to be seen as offering space for an idyllic life. 

The lecture will be followed by an informal book launch of the book co-edited by CRE’s Duke of Northumberland Professor of Rural Economy Sally Shortall and Bettina Bock, Gender and Rural Globalization: International Perspectives on Gender and Rural Development . The publishers, CABI, have kindly agreed to make two bound proof copies available for the event.

Please join us! We will have wine and nibbles. 

Please let Nikki Parker know if you are attending and contact Nikki with any other queries you may have Nicola.parker@newcastle.ac.uk


published on: 17 May 2017