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The Rural Studies Research Cluster includes researchers with interests in developing and extending the theoretical, conceptual and empirical boundaries of rural studies, with particular reference to their spatial dimensions. One of the principal themes underpinning such research is the nature of social, economic, political and cultural restructuring of rural areas under processes of globalization, and the understanding of rural localities as sites through which these and other influences are negotiated, contested and reproduced. This posits the rural as relational, with the attendant conceptual and practical challenges of reimagining and remaking rural place. In methodological and analytical terms, the context-specific nature of such change implies a diversity of approaches that can take account of issues of scale, location, interface and situatedness.


Cluster Members

Dr Therese Conway
Dr Maura Farrell
Dr Marie Mahon
Dr John McDonagh
Dr Shane Conway
Dr Aisling Murtagh
Postgraduate Students
Kate Flood
Brian Leonard
Aoife Ni Fhlatharta
Paul Rush


RURALIZATION - The opening of rural areas to renew rural generations, jobs and farms

RURALIZATION develops a novel perspective for rural areas to trigger a process of ‘ruralisation’ as a counterforce to urbanisation. RURALIZATION explores innovative instruments and strategies to facilitate rural regeneration, focusing on rural newcomers, new entrants into farming and access to land. Foresight analysis will explore rural dreams of new generations. The outcomes of the project will result in novel options for policy makers and practical tools for rural actors.

Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Maura Farrell, Dr. Aisling Murtagh, Dr. Marie Mahon, Dr. John McDonagh, Dr. Therese Conway, Dr. Shane Conway
Contact Name: Dr. Maura Farrell
More info:
Funded by: Horizon 2020

BuSK - Building Shared Knowledge

BuSK aims to support natural resource governance in the Northern periphery. It is a research project, which develops planning tools that enhance the use of participatory techniques, and gives assistance for decision makers concerning land use planning and natural resource governance.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr John McDonagh, Dr Maura Farrell, Dr Marie Mahon
Contact Name: Dr John McDonagh
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Funded by: Northern Periphery and Artic Programme

IMAJINE – Integrative Mechanisms for Addressing Spatial Justice and Territorial Inequalities in Europe

The core aim of IMAJINE is to formulate new integrative policy mechanisms to enable European, national and regional government agencies to more effectively address territorial inequalities within the European Union, and to imagine a future for European regions in which the distribution of resources is consistent with principles of social and spatial justice.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Marie Mahon Dr Maura Farrell,  Dr John McDonagh
Contact Name: Dr Marie Mahon
More info:
Funded by: Horizon 2020

National Rural Network (NRN)

The NRN is a membership network for farmers, agricultural advisors, rural communities and others interested in rural development. It provides up-to-date information, case studies, seminars and conferences to maximise the beneficial outcomes of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 for rural stakeholders.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Maura FarrellDr Marie MahonDr John McDonagh, Dr Shane Conway, Dr Aisling Murtagh
Contact Name: Dr Maura Farrell
More info:
Funded by: Rural Development Programme 2014-2020