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Gewählte Publikation:

Rogelja, T; Ludvig, A; Weiss, G; Prah, J; Shannon, M; Secco, L.
(2023): Analyzing social innovation as a process in rural areas: Key dimensions and success factors for the revival of the traditional charcoal burning in Slovenia
J RURAL STUD. 2023; 97: 517-533. FullText FullText_BOKU

In rural areas, the social innovation (SI) process emerges as a response to negative socioeconomic trends or gets triggered by open windows of opportunity, bringing solutions that revitalize the rural fabric through the voluntary involvement of the local community. As such, SI is increasingly recognized as a tool to support rural development and transformative change. Regardless of increased interest and research, there are still calls for empirical evidence on the SI process, its effects, and the success factors. Our study responds to this research gap by providing empirical evidence on the 20 years of the development of a remote rural area - Charcoal Land - that sparked the revival of traditional charcoal burning in Slovenia. To better understand how such processes roll out on the ground, we conducted the case study, using a combination of document reviews, key informant in-terviews, semi-structured interviews, and participatory observations. Using event sequence analysis, we mapped key events in the development of the Charcoal Land and distinguished five key dimensions (Context, Trigger, Agency, Phases, and Effects) based on a framework for analyzing SI as a process of SI. Then, we inductively recognized three key success factors that were crucial for the revival of traditional charcoal burning in Slovenia: the embeddedness of innovators in multiple networks, strategic use of narratives for obtaining resources, and legitimization by the local community and public actors. Our results indicate that the development of the Charcoal Land can be regarded as an SI process that sparked the reconfiguration of traditional charcoal burning and its revival in Slovenia. The voluntary engagement of various actors (e.g., charcoal burners, foresters, local authorities) led to the formation of evolving agencies with the capacity to repetitively rearrange around common projects and goals. Through diversification of activities, traditional charcoal burning started being performed small scale and for educational, touristic, culinary, cultural, and commercial purposes. Over the last 20 years, traditional charcoal burning scaled up and out of the local territory of the Charcoal Land to other geographical and policy levels. Due to three success factors, and through institutionalization, traditional charcoal burning became recognized as an intangible cultural practice, as well as monitored forestry and agricultural practices.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Ludvig Alice
Weiß Gerhard

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Rural communities
Reconfiguration of practice
Charcoal land
In-depth empirical study

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