Call for Papers - Special Issue on Conceptualizations of development research in rural areas: Unpacking, untangling, bounding

Guest editors

  • Mikaël Akimowicz (Lead guest editor), Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Formation de l’Enseignement Agronomique – Laboratoire d’Etude et de Recherche sur l’Economie, les Politiques et les Systèmes Sociaux, France
  • Ryan Gibson, University of Guelph – School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, Canada,
  • Ashleigh Weeden, University of Guelph – School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, Canada,


Rural development is a fuzzy pluridisciplinary research field that encompasses many theoretical, conceptual, and methodological approaches. The richness of rural development approaches is legitimated by the diversity of stakes embedded in rural areas. On the one hand, this richness has led to the emergence of specialized scientific communities over time and space that conduct innovative and original research. On the other hand, this richness has also led to the structuration of scientific communities that cannot necessarily communicate with each other due to the utilization of specific concepts that are not shared by other communities.
The goal of this special issue is to explore three conceptual approaches that are widely spread among European and North American rural researchers: community-based research, territorial research, and place-based research. The objective is to reflect on the existing bridges linking these conceptual approaches while discussing the barriers that prevent more collaboration. The motivation is to enrich each conceptual approach by highlighting their strengths and weaknesses in order to avoid a misleading interchangeable utilization.
Contributions are expected to tackle theoretical and empirical issues covering a wide variety of rural development conceptualizations with the intent to foster an international discussion. This special issue aims to build on diverse materials such as critical case studies, methodological explorations, conceptual discussions, and theoretical investigations.

Information on submission and review:

  • A double peer review will be conducted by the guest editorial team and selected experts in the field of submissions’ topic
  • Authors will submit their papers at and select “Article Type: SI <Special issue title>”
  • For questions or problems feel free to contact the guest editorial team

Deadline for submissions: 30 November 2020