My research is based on interviews in sparsely populated areas about incoming migrants and lifestyle entrepreneurs’ contributions to rural development.
I am a human geographer studying place attractivenes, repopulating rural areas and lifestyle-related urban-rural mobilities. I am part of a research group focusing on the future of small villages in Northern Sweden.
My current research focuses incoming entrepreneurs' contribution to rural development. This mainly considers European rural entrepreneurs in Sweden. Is their entrepreneurship part of pre-migration aspirations and expectations or is it rather a necessity? What happens when the newcomers leave the area again? How does this relate to place marketing efforts to attract new residents?
New research interests are downshifting (when people develop alternative views on the work-leisure balance and try to live more sustainable lives) and small-scale outdoor winter sports events (e.g. dog sledding championships). As part of research on micro-urbanisation, I am co-editor of a book analyzing who lives in, works in and visits Northern sparsely populated areas in Sweden and beyond. In one chapter, I look at intercultural communication between Dutch, German and Swiss lifestyle migrants and local Swedish populations. In another chapter, I study demographic and socio-economic changes in small villages with origins in Norrland’s settler history and how this relates with mining, sawmilling, forestry, and tourism. THis book will soon also be available in Swedish.
I completed my PhD in 2013 at Örebro University in Sweden, studying Dutch families in the rural Bergslagen area (Sweden), their migration decisions and post-migration everyday realities. I have a Master's degree in area studies (completed in 2002) from Utrecht University and a Bachelor's degree in European Studies (2006) from The Hague University of Applied Science, both in the Netherlands.