Report on the Autumn School in Prague

The Third Annual Graduate Seminar in Regional and Rural Development in European Countryside was held from 11th to 17th September 2003 in Prague.
The venue of the beginning plenary session was in Department of Humanities in Czech University of Agriculture in Prague after registration of participants on 11th September morning. Professor Vera Majerova welcomed all participants and asked professors Krysytof Gorlach from Poland and Leo Granberg from Finland to mention history and course of the Autumn School. Previous two years of this event took place in Helsinki, Finland and in Lodz, Poland.

All students and professors presented their papers during sevens days. The professors passed their experience and expert advice to students through their own presentations and also during students’ presentations.

Professor papers

Leo Grandberg
New Agenda for Rural Studies – Changing roles and relations between rural business, local state and cultural community

Věra Majerová
Empirical Approach to the Research of Social Reality

Ilkka Alanen
The World Bank Decolletivization Concept. A Critical Estimation

Imre Kovach
Enlargement of EU – Central – European perspectives

Jaroslav Čmejrek
The Actual Trends of the Political Life in the Czech Countryside

Krysztof Gorlach
Polish Rural Youth in the Era of Globalization and Individualization

Zemphira Kalugina
The Social Development of Russian Countryside under Transformation and Globalization

Oleg Staněk
Forty Years of Thinking about Regional and Rural Development

Pawel Starosta
Social Participation in Rural Areas, A Comparative Approach

Students’ papers and their presentations were the main reasons why the Autumn School was organized. Students would like to improve their research work and that’s why they attended and wanted to hear and to discus the critics of professors and the other students.

The second day of the Autumn School took place at The Faculty of economics and management, CUA in Prague.

Then the participants of AS spent four days out of Prague from 13th to 16th September. They visited the village Únětice just out of Prague. The name of this village is well known thanks to archeological excavations from the beginning of the Bronze Age. However the present of this village isn’t so exceptional as its history. There are the same problems as in other villages (bankrupting agricultural cooperatives, lack of housing possibilities, services, possibilities of education in place of residence, etc). Development of the village is also influenced by the proximity of the city (Prague) – it’s advantages (possibility of employment, culture, education, etc.) and disadvantages (bigger anonymity, higher criminality, lower willingness of inhabitants to engage in public issues of the municipality). The chairman of the parish council discussed these problems with participants of AS and he showed them a reconstructed dairy farm and former granary, which are used for cultural events, especially for young people.

Students and professors visited the castle Křivoklát before their arrival to the village Lány. In Lány, participants stayed in the hotel Classic and continued presentations and discussions there during next four days. The castle in Lány is a summer residence of the president of the Czech Republic. It was possible to walk in the park of the castle, to visit the museum of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk - the first president of the Czech Republic, to see his grave on the cemetery or to visit the museum of cars on Sunday afternoon.

Sociological discussions also continued in the evenings. All participants could taste three sorts of wine from production of wine cellar of CUA during the closing party after the last presentation.

The participants also saw the farm of CUA in Lány. The director of the farm gave an expert speech and answered all questions about farming on the university farm. Then the participants left to the spa Karlovy Vary in West Bohemia where they could walk in the town and the promenade and drink the mineral water from the springs. They came back to Prague in the evening of 16th September.

Experts from the Charles University, from the Sociological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and from Faculty of Management at CUA were invited to the workshop and the closing session of the Autumn School. The dean of Faculty of Management at CUA Mr. Svatoš opened the session. He appreciated holding the Autumn School as the opportunity for international meeting of young beginning researches and experienced experts. Issues about the necessity to understand the development of rural areas as complex not of agriculture only and the role of regional development in the context of planning enlargement of EU were discussed.

The students – participants appreciated opportunity to present the results of their researches to erudite international team of professors in friendly and non-official surrounding. All members of the small collective could get known each other, get international contacts and get information about foreign universities. It was marked as big advantage. The students discussed the system of evaluation of their papers and presentations. This year all professors evaluated all students’ works. Some participants thought that it would be better to choose one professor for one student as opponent and adviser. This method was voted for next year when the Autumn School will be most probably held in Romania.

The guests expressed their thanks to the organizators for invitation and good arrangement of the event.

The professors Věra Majerová, Pavel Starosta and Leo Granberg handed over the certificates, which confirm successful participation on Autumn School in Prague.

The Third Annual Graduate Seminar in Regional and Rural Development in European Countryside was declared closed.



Prof. Leo Grandberg

Prof. PhDr. Ing. Věra Majerová, CSc.

Prof. Ilka Allanen

Prof. Imre Kovach

Prof. Jaroslav Čmejrek

Prof. Krysztof Gorlach

Prof. Zemphira Kalugina

Prof. Oleg Stanek

Prof. Pawel Starosta