The International Comparative Rural Policy Studies (ICRPS) program brings together an international, multi-disciplinary group of faculty, students, and professionals to study together the many facets of rural policy, from policy formulation to policy impacts.

The ICRPS Consortium, comprising core faculty from universities in North American and Europe, has developed an advanced program to enhance policy formulation and analysis in the rural context. The ICRPS program is the first of its kind that enables students to examine and compare the role of rural policy in different cultural, political, and administrative contexts in Europe and North America, as well as in the South.

Designed for graduate students and mid-career professionals, the ICRPS program introduces the skills to analyze and compare policies at the international, national, state, regional, and local levels. It also provides the opportunity to study the nature and implications of new forms of governance in rural contexts. The key elements of the ICRPS program are: two-week, international summer institutes; comparative rural policy research projects; and online distance learning courses.

History of ICRPS Consortium

The ICRPS Consortium partnership arose from previous and on-going mutual collaboration between the Universities of Missouri (United States), the University of Guelph (Canada), the University of Aberdeen (Scotland), and the Economics and Business Studies Program of Budapest (Hungary). In 2002, representatives of these Universities met in Columbia, Missouri, to discuss the need for post-graduate education in comparative rural policy. The meeting, hosted by the Rural Policy Research Institute, led to creation of the consortium, and plans for the ICRPS project.

The University of Aberdeen and the University of Guelph, as partners in the ICRPS collaboration, successfully applied to the EU-Canada Program for Collaboration between Institutions of Higher Education and Training in 2003, adding partners in Europe (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and University of Leuven) and Canada (Université du Québec à Rimouski and Brandon University). The University of Highlands and Islands and Oregon State University subsequently joined the ICRPS Consortium, bringing the total to 10 partners.

The rich multi-cultural learning experience of over 300 graduate students, the engagement of faculty members from 13 universities and involvement of over 20 governmental and non-governmental agencies testifies to the success of this much needed education and research program. ICRPS has contributed directly to the ‘internationalisation’ of programs at all participating universities and has enriched professional development opportunities for rural agencies.

ICRPS Consortium Members

ICRPS is a dynamic consortium of institutions and numerous Fellows from across North America and Europe. Institutional members have contributed to the development, design and implementation of ICRPS Consortium and ICRPS Summer Institutions. Institutions of the ICRPS Consortium include:

Brandon University (Canada)
Doug Ramsey, Department of Rural Development
William Ashton, Rural Development Institute

Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute (Norway)
in partnership with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences
John Bryden, Karen Refsgaard

Oregon State University (USA)
Brent Steel, Department of Political Science

Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)
Lourdes Viladomiu

Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain)
Victoria Soldevila

University of Guelph (Canada)
Ryan Gibson, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development

University of Highlands and Islands (Scotland)
Philomena de Lima, Centre for Rural and Remote Studies

University of Missouri  (USA)
Sarah Low, College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
Willi Meyers, College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (Mexico)
Lidia Carvajal, Facultad de Economía
Gabino Nava Bernal, Instituto de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Rurales

University College Dublin (Ireland)
James Breen, School of Agriculture and Food Science
Karen Keaveney, School of Agriculture and Food Science
Tomás Russell, School of Agriculture and Food Science

Tuskegee University (USA)
Thierno Thiam, History and Political Science
Robert Zabawa, Agricultural Sciences

University of Bologna (Italy)
Matteo Vittuari, Department of Science and Food Technologies
Fabio De Menna, Department of Science and Food Technologies
Francesca Regoli, Department of Management

Warsaw University of Life Science (Poland)
Mariusz Maciejczak, Faculty of Economic Sciences

ICRPS Contributing Partners

ICRPS Consortium Members and Fellows are regularly joined by distinguished researchers and policy makers from around the world. Recent ICRPS Contributing Partners have included: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Rural Policy Research Institute, Statistics Canada.

ICRPS Previous Contributors

Bruno Jean, Département Développement Régional, Social, et Terrtorial, Université du Québec à Rimouski
Frank Delmartino, Institute for International and European Policy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
John Devlin, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph
John Farrington, Institute for Transport and Rural Research, University of Aberdeen
Judith Stallman, University of Missouri
Philip Loring, Institute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Stephen Smith, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Pennsylvania State University
Tibor Ferenczi, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Corvinus University of Budapest
Tom Johnson, University of Missouri