JUL - AUG
28 - 03
Aula Magna, Lisboa, Portugal
XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology
On behalf of the scientific committee and the organizing committee we wish to warmly welcome you to the XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology
PROGRAM BACKGROUND AND FOCUS
We are at a critical junction of modern history. On the one hand, we celebrate human creativity and capacity to transform nature. On the other hand, we are concerned that these very same efforts may be leading to a catastrophic conclusion.
Globally we have over one billion people suffering from hunger and malnutrition. The poor have been devastated by a recent food price crisis brought on in part by the conversion of food to produce bio-fuels. At the same time, many suffer from obesity, diabetes, cancer and related health problems brought on by the food they eat. And research on climate change raises additional concerns about the sustainability of the way we produce and distribute foods.
Wars, deepening financial crises, corruption, political alienation and apathy reduce our resilience to cope with natural disasters. Under-resourced governments, overwhelmed by the neo-liberal assault, military conflicts, and declining public revenues, are unable to provide the social programs needed by the victims of human generated disasters, including environmental disasters. Self-interest and short-term thinking, reflected in today’s global economy, undermine the legitimacy of leadership being provided by the global corporate elite.
Public apathy and distrust of fundamental societal institutions have resulted in increased political alienation. And as global pessimism widens, more and more people live in fear of the future or seek refuge in old dogmas.
It is time for sociologists to respond to these problems. We have the capacity to diagnose the causes of these problems, explore solutions to them and critically evaluate alternative paradigms.
Using classical sociological theory and concepts as well as more modern ones, we invite you to re-define the rural-urban divide, to explore new forms of social organization, to examine alternative agri-food regimes, and to re-envision utopias.