Diffusion, social structure and functioning of scientific rural networks: comparison of European and Finish examples

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Diffusion, social structure and functioning of scientific rural networks: comparison of European and Finish examples

A comparative analysis of two scientific rural networks was made for this study. The national level case study is the Rural Studies Network of Finland and the international case is the European Rural Development Network. Both networks started in 2002. The focus of this study is on comparing the emergence, diffusion and functioning of these two relatively new networks. The experiences and opinions of individual participants of these networks are highlighted instead of territorial aspects. The paper indicates several differences and similarities between case networks relating to the diffusion processes, social structures, functionality and effectiveness of the networks. Successful emergence of rural expert network is an innovative social networking process, which in ideal case results in to a knowledge society of experts who share some common ideas and goals by exploiting and reproducing their social capital.

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