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IAMO researcher wins Schumpeter Fellowship of the Volkswagen Foundation

25.02.2010 - (idw) Leibniz-Institut für Agrarentwicklung in Mittel- und Osteuropa

IAMO researcher Dr. Vladislav Valentinov works as Schumpeter Fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation on third sector organisations in rural regions Halle (Saale), Germany, February 25, 2010: Dr. Vladislav Valentinov, researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), successfully applied for a Schumpeter Fellowship of the German Volkswagen Foundation. Since 2006 the foundation supports with this fellowship projects in economics, the social sciences and law which break through the boundaries of the respective discipline or depart from the mainstream by realising collaboration beyond traditional subject combinations. All in all 32 researchers applied in 2009 for the fellowship. As the foundation announces today Valentinov's project was in the end one of eight chosen for funding.

RESEARCH PROJECT AIMS AT CLOSING THE GAP
With the granted 548.000 Euro Valentinov will found a project team and over the next five years formulate and empirically test an economic theory of the third sector in rural regions, the rurality theory. "Third sector organisations in rural development: a theoretical and empirical analysis" is the title of his research project. "In many parts of the world, rural development is supported by third sector organisations, such as nongovernmental organisations, farmers associations or cooperatives", explains the researcher. "And although the contribution of these organisations to rural development has been widely recognised, the theoretical understanding of their economic rationale has so far remained unsatisfactory. We want to close this gap and take the specificity of rural conditions in explaining the existence of the rural third sector into consideration."

DISTINCTIVE STRUCTURAL FEATURES OF RURAL REGIONS ARE THE STARTING POINT
Valentinovs general hypothesis is: Distinctive structural features of rural regions cause rurality-specific transaction costs of economic, cultural and social activities and thereby give rise to the emergence and importance of rural third sector organisations. Low population density and a poor infrastructure are examples of such features. With this research Valentinov and colleagues want to explain why third sector organisations in rural and in urban regions are organised and act differently. Empirically the ideas shall be tested with data collected in Germany, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.

FUNDING ENABLES LONG-TERM AND MORE DETAILED RESEARCH
The Ukraine-born Valentinov joined IAMO in 2003. The then 24 years old started at the institute as fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD. Since then he works and lives in Halle, Germany. In the meantime he also won a Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship. For two years he worked and successfully published on "The structures of civil society governance in promoting rural development on the example of East Germany and Ukraine". The Schumpeter Fellowship of the Volkswagen Foundation now enables him to conduct a long-term and more detailed research. The project is based on Valentinov's former work. "I am really delighted about the great opportunity to acquire a project team and intensively work on an economic theory of the third sector in rural regions", states Valentinov.

IAMO COMBINES SCIENTIFIC EXPERTISE WITH THE PROMOTION OF YOUNG ACADEMICS
At IAMO one is enthusiastic about the fellowship. Prof. Dr. Alfons Balmann, IAMO Director, stresses: "This not only supports relevant, original, and excellent research, for us it also honours IAMO's approach to combine scientific expertise with the promotion of young academics. Therefore we are very delighted when as in this case a young and excellent researcher is supported by such a fellowship to follow his unconventional and ambitious way." That research is conducted on the role of third sector organisations with respect to rural development is new. At the moment there are no essential analysis' available in this field. Theoretically and empirically tested Valentinov and colleagues want to change this over the next years.

For more information on the Schumpeter Fellowship please see:
http://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/funding/support-of-persons-and-new-structures/schumpeter-fellowships.html?L=1


For the German press release of the Volkswagen Foundation please see:
http://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/service/presse/pm/verstaerkung-fuer-die-schumpeter-fellows.html?no_cache=1&L=0&cHash=0f048698ce

More information:
Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO)
Public Relations | Britta Paasche M.A.
Phone +49 (0)345 - 2928 330 | paasche@iamo.de

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