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Institute of

LV Rural Studies

Projects of Fields of Activity

Field of Activity: Monitoring, indicators, regional analyses
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Field of Activity: Basic service provision
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Field of Activity: Social structure and social inclusion
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Field of Activity: Settlement development and spatial mobility
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Field of Activity: Governance and civic engagement
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Field of Activity: Land use and protection of natural resources
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Field of Activity: Policy impact assessment and evaluation
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Ongoing Projects

"Feelings of Being Left Behind" in Rural Areas?

In the public and political discussion, rural areas are depicted very differently. Partly they are regarded as economically prosperous places with a high living quality, partly as regions which "are left behind". The aim of this research project is to investigate how the population of rural regions perceives the situation on site and how the population relates to politics, what the people hope for or expect.

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"Feelings of Being Left Behind" in Rural Areas?

5-Länder-Evaluation: What are the effects of financing rural development on agriculture, on environment and well-being in rural areas?

In cooperation with the Thünen-Institute of Farm Economics, the Thünen-Institue of International Forestry and Forest Economics and entera the Thünen-Institute of Rural Studies evaluates rural develpoment programmes and measures within a multi-disciplinary team and approach. The Institute of Rural Studies is the leading partner. Main tasks are analyses regarding programme delivery and implementation, enviromental issues, the support of human capital and cooperation activities as well as rural development including the LEADER approach.

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5-Länder-Evaluation: What are the effects of financing rural development on agriculture, on environment and well-being in rural areas?

AGRUM Germany

The objectives of the EU- Water Framework Directive have not yet been fully achieved in many regions of Germany. This is due in particular to diffuse nutrient inputs from agriculture. "AGRUM-DE", will therefore create a nationwide, consistent method to monitor nitrogen emissions to water bodies. Based on this, measures for better water quality are derived and their impacts will be assessed.

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AGRUM Germany

An Evaluation of the Common Agricultural Policy from the Perspective of Environmental Protection

In this research project we examine the CAP reform of 2013 with respect to aspects of environmental protection. Specifically, we analyse how land-use has changed, how political instrument affected land-use, and how this, in turn, affected abiotic resource protection.

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An Evaluation of the Common Agricultural Policy from the Perspective of Environmental Protection

Automatic determination of grassland use intensities by means of satellite image time series

Nationwide information on grassland use intensity is still unknown in Germany. Remote sensing data can help to close this knowledge gap in the future.

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Automatic determination of grassland use intensities by means of satellite image time series

Causes and impacts of developments on agricultural land markets

Along with a rising competition for agricultural land, policymakers are called upon for more governmental regulation on the land market. We analyse land market developments in order to assess relevant causes and impacts. This allows for an evaluation of governmental regulatory instruments.

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Causes and impacts of developments on agricultural land markets

Changing provision of services of general interest in rural areas

The school shuts down, the village shop has closed a long time ago and wastewater taxes are rising year in and year out. Residential vacancies increase and municipalities only govern the scarcity of funds. Changing services of general interest may look like that. In order to supply the population, new solutions are needed.

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Changing provision of services of general interest in rural areas

Civic engagement in rural areas

In rural areas, civic engagement is considered essential for individual social integration, social cohesion and a democratic political culture. However, there are hardly any empirically valid results on this; rather, neither the distribution and development of people's engagement in rural areas nor its actual significance for the (political) community have so far been adequately researched. The research project aims to analyze the extent and distribution of civic engagement in rural areas and to research its role for social cohesion and political culture.

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Civic engagement in rural areas

Common Agricultural Policy – Future developments of the 2. Pillar of CAP?

The 2. Pillar of CAP belongs to the Common Agricultural Policy, but simultaneously addresses the Cohesion Policy. It is situated between the poles of sector-related and regional policy. Furthermore, it must contribute to the overall climate and environmental EU-objectives. We analyse in our project current policy instruments and elaborate proposals for future adjustments.

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Common Agricultural Policy – Future developments of the 2. Pillar of CAP?

Continuity and Change in Living Conditions in Rural Areas: Explorative Analyses of German Socio-economic Panel (SOEP) data

What new insights into living conditions in rural areas do data from the Socio-Economic Panel, a representative survey of private households in Germany, offer? This question is the focus of a project at the Thünen Institute.

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Continuity and Change in Living Conditions in Rural Areas: Explorative Analyses of German Socio-economic Panel (SOEP) data

Developing a sound basis for a national monitoring of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes

Current national monitoring schemes provide only limited information on the status and trends of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. The project aims at providing a sound basis for the design and implementation of a national monitoring of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

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Developing a sound basis for a national monitoring of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes

Development of an automated support system to monitor agricultural funding and compensation sites (timeStamp)

Site-related measures in the agricultural funding and the intervention scheme are currently checked with time - and cost-intensive on spot checks. A Web application, based on remote sensing data, should change that.

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Development of an automated support system to monitor agricultural funding and compensation sites (timeStamp)

Ex ante evaluation of Germany’s CAP Strategic Plan

For the next period of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy after 2020 the member states have to draw up national strategic plans. This project, designed as a formative evaluation, supports the drafting process in Germany.

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Ex ante evaluation of Germany’s CAP Strategic Plan

Ex-ante-Evaluation CAP Strategic Plan Austria

The objective of the project is to elaborate significant parts of the Ex-ante-Evaluation for the CAP Strategic Part Austria 2021-2027.

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Ex-ante-Evaluation CAP Strategic Plan Austria

F.R.A.N.Z. - Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation

The joint project F.R.A.N.Z. develops and tests practically and economically sustainable measures for more biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. The accompanying research addresses ecological and socio-economic questions.

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F.R.A.N.Z. - Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation

Families in rural areas

Families are subject to constant change, which is also of sociopolitical relevance. This project examines the living conditions of families in rural areas.

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Families in rural areas

How accessible are basic services in different regions?

Currently basic services are concentrated in cities and agglomerations. But does this mean that an under-supply exists in practice?

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How accessible are basic services in different regions?

Innovative Approaches to Public Services (InDaLE)

European countries follow different approaches to organising public services. Drawing on domestic and international model projects, this research seeks to establish the lessons that can be learned for the future design of public services in Germany.

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Innovative Approaches to Public Services (InDaLE)

Innovative contract solutions for the delivery of agri-environmental benefits (CONSOLE)

The society requires intensified efforts from farming and forestry in order to better protect nature, environment and climate. We investigate what could be the contribution of novel voluntary measures.

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Innovative contract solutions for the delivery of agri-environmental benefits (CONSOLE)

Land ownership and land transactions in Bavaria (BayLand)

Im Auftrag der Bayerischen Landesregierung untersuchen wir den landwirtschaftlichen Bodenmarkt in Bayern und erarbeiten Optionen für Maßnahmen, die den Zugang der Landwirte zu Grund und Boden verbessern.

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Land ownership and land transactions in Bavaria (BayLand)

LAWAMAD – Agricultural water management in Germany (Subproject C)

The summer droughts of 2018, 2019, and 2020 brought the topic agricultural water management into the media and onto the political agenda in Germany. But what is the quantitative situation of irrigation in Germany - today and in the future?

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LAWAMAD – Agricultural water management in Germany (Subproject C)

Local government capacities in rural areas

Being responsible for various public policies, local governments are crucial actors for safeguarding equal living conditions. To what extent do local governments in rural areas possess the necessary capacities?

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Local government capacities in rural areas

Monitoring of farmland biodiversity in Germany

Far reaching changes in production systems and in farm management have led to a decline in farmland biodiversity. To counteract this decline, a national database is needed that allows conclusions to be drawn about cause-effect relationships.

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Monitoring of farmland biodiversity in Germany

Monitoring of rural areas in Germany

Depending on the typology applied, rural areas in Germany are home to about 30 to 50 percent of the population. They are characterized by villages and small towns, a great share of agricultural land use and forestry, as well as a relatively low population and settlement density.

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Monitoring of rural areas in Germany

NatApp – smartphone-based documentation of nature conservation measures

The NatApp in development will be a tool for advising, planning, applying and documenting nature conservation measures on agricultural land. The purpose of the tool is to support farmers and agricultural entities in the implementation of measures to promote biodiversity.

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NatApp – smartphone-based documentation of nature conservation measures

Official statistics shall become more detailed

In Germany, up to now statistical data below the administrative level of the counties or communities is scarce. Therefor we are engaged in developing a high-resolution raster based geo-database for statistical purposes.

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Official statistics shall become more detailed

On coming, leaving and staying (KoBaLd)

In the public debate, rural areas are in general terms often described as regions of emigration. We analyse different migration directions and subjective motives in order to create a better empirical basis.

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On coming, leaving and staying  (KoBaLd)

Poverty and Social Integration in Rural Areas

There is poverty even in a rich country such as Germany. This poverty has many faces and being poor in rural areas is different than being poor in a big city. Poverty in rural areas is more likely to be hidden and may be more severe in its consequences for the poor. This project aims at investigating different "faces of poverty" in rural areas.

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Poverty and Social Integration in Rural Areas

Small towns: settlement and sociodemographic patterns in transition

Small towns are anchor points in rural areas – at least in the ideal planning. In reality, they differ strongly in their structure and functions as well as with regard to the municipal scope for action.

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Small towns: settlement and sociodemographic patterns in transition

Social disadvantage in rural peripheries in eastern Germany and Czechia

Processes of social disadvantage are often considered as urban problems, but such phenomena are also prevalent in rural areas. In the project we analyse patterns of social disadvantage and options for action.

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Social disadvantage in rural peripheries in eastern Germany and Czechia

Social Security Systems in Agriculture

The agricultural social security system was subsidized with 3.7 billion Euros from the budget of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2014. That is 70 percent of the total budget of the ministry. We are studying the impact of the system as a central element of national agricultural policy and how it can be developed further.

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Social Security Systems in Agriculture

Stability and Acceptance of the Democratic System in Rural Areas

Is voting behavior different in rural areas and in urban areas? Is there a lower voter turnout in rural areas? Are people there more discontent with democracy? Are populist parties more successful in rural areas? These are lead question of a new research project at Thünen Institute.

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Stability and Acceptance of the Democratic System in Rural Areas

Staying in the Rural

Staying in rural (and non-rural) areas in different life course stages is connected to deliberate decisions. The project aims to highlight the motives of those who stay, as they are often neglected in studies on rural areas.

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Staying in the Rural

Superior project Greening: Accompanying ecological research on the greening of the Common Agricultural Policy

With the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, the European Commission decided upon a more environmental-friendly, "greener" first pillar. The effectiveness of the greening measures for nature conservation and environmental protection, however, is discussed controversially. In various projects we therefore pursue the question of the effectiveness.

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Superior project Greening: Accompanying ecological research on the greening of the Common Agricultural Policy

The Thünen agricultural atlas

The German agricultural statistics are an important source of information to assess environmental impacts and to estimate agricultural trends. Unfortunately, the access to this information is limited through data protection rules. This was the reason why the project Agraratlas was initialized, to generate a data set at community level on land use and live stocks, without restrictions but fulfilling all data security issues at the same time.

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The Thünen agricultural atlas

Thünen Agrar-GIS

The Thünen Agricultural GIS creates the conditions for describing and analysing Germany's agricultural land use. Georeferenced data from the agricultural and environmental sectors are available for a very efficient time series analysis and are continuously expanded and updated.

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Thünen Agrar-GIS

What is the best way to evaluate Rural Development Programmes?

Since the early 1990s, evaluations have formed an important part of the profile of the Thuenen-Institute of Rural Studies, respectively, of its predecessors. We developed analysis and assessment methods in an on-going process. Better access to micro-data supports this process.

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What is the best way to evaluate Rural Development Programmes?

WiSoLand

More and more agricultural enterprises in East Germany are in the hands of external investors. We examine the impacts of this development on rural regions and on the living conditions in villages.

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WiSoLand

Young and committed in associations

Associations in rural areas have long complained about a lack of young people. In the JIVE research project, we are investigating the conditions and motives for the voluntary commitment of young people in rural areas and, in this context, we are asking about the role of associations.

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Young and committed in associations

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