Through research and expertise activities mobilizing several social science disciplines (Economics and Sociology supplemented by Geography and Management), the work produced at CESAER addresses the economic, social, and environmental aspects of contemporary rural development: agricultural and industrial activities, competing land uses, local development, and interactions among public territorial policy, demographics, the spread of urban areas and population structure, forms of local belonging, and politicization. It fuels the thinking of public and professional actors in a context of considerable change in the farming and agro-food sectors.

The theme “Territorial Dynamics and Development” deals with the economic and social transformations of rural and peri-urban areas. They are places of production hosting agricultural, agro-food, industrial, and site-specific activities, places for recreation and residence, and places devoted to the conservation of natural environments.    This plurality of uses has significant repercussions on how space is occupied and how such areas are governed.

Work under the theme “Social Groups and Rural Worlds” analyzes the many social categories of people living in the country and the spatial rootedness of social phenomena: lifestyles, guidance of the working classes and farmers, the economic normalization of farms, and political engagement and mobilization.

Moreover, two interdisciplinary topical groups make it possible to combine perspectives and skills:

  • The “Socio-spatial inequalities” group intends to improve understanding of the disparities between geographical areas and between populations.
  • The “Sustainability of territories” group is concerned with the economic and environmental impact of agro-ecology, public policy supporting an agro-ecological transition, and the sustainability of European food quality policies (labels, short sales chains).