Thesis topic proposals

Dr. Bakucz Márta
Tourism and the Economy
An analysis of the direct and indirect impacts of tourism is extremely important and needs, not only to , start at global level but to progress through regional down to local level.
Firstly, the need to clarify the somewhat complex term TOURISM as applied science and the related industry is equally important, involving, as it does, a wide range of products and services which should satisfy the demands of private customers, businesses and the related public sector. The tourism sector with its considerable number of contributing factors, requires a complex approach to its study and analysis. It permeates the whole of the economy due to the wide range of products and services required and to changing demand, and the time-scale of travel further increases the difficulties involved in planning in relation to products and services before, during, and even after journeys.
In connection with tourism, cultural and environmental issues are also of the greatest importance, and, further, the sector is often central target of economic, infrastructural, spatial or regional development measures.Tourism – perhaps more than any other economic activity - is very much dependent on the integrated and sustainable development of the related area. It is not feasible to create effectively co-operating SME networks which provide a convenient selection of accommodation, catering nd travel facilities, togegher with appropriate opportunities for leisuire and cultural activities. Hence the development of all segments needs special attention. The integrated development of tourism must be sustainable from economic, social and environmental points of view, and this complexity of critical requirements proves the importance of the sectorin general, and the actuality of one specific segment, city tourism, in particular: Some suggested topics follow:
1. The impact of city tourism on the local economy.
2. Marketing and management issues of tourism destination development.
3. Tourism destination management models in Europe and Hungary.
4. The improvement of tourism potential in the Hungarian regions.
5. The role of human resources in tourism development.


Dr. Goda Pál

Rethinking system approach models in the Rural and Regional Development
Development projects will not bring any resounding success for a region or a local community if the intervention was not cautious enough. The output of actions and reactions can be realized in many forms, so it would be impossible to model all the combinations, therefore a general approach is required which can serve as a basis for each intervention. There is no perfect pattern for introducing investment ideas, and individual measures cannot be concretized because it would easily result distortions in the communities coping with different problems.
We often face the question how a development strategy can be maintained. What sustainability means and is there a general approach which is able to describe these condition systems in any region or community of a country. Each area has different physical and mental characteristics and one certain development concept can be applied in one country but the same concept causes damages to the other.
The development of rural areas can be defined as an interdisciplinary field of science synthetizing more scientific fields and built from different approaches due to its complexity. These approaches often have system theory roots and their overall review is required very much.
Due to the complexity of the topic the following sub-themes have been identified:
• Reinterpretation of the Sustainable Development model in the Rural and Regional Development
• Analyses of endogenous development approaches generated by the local community
• Social Innovation Theories, examination of the endogenous innovation potential
• The spatial context of the diffusion of innovation considering the Territorial Inequalities
• Analysis of the potential of Circular and Blue Economy Theories in the Rural and Regional Development

Dr. Farkas Jenő

Land use changes in different types of rural regions


Land use changes in different types of rural regions have been identifying the factors and driving forces behind processes in given rural regions. Research work on evaluating the role of agricultural and other policies in land management and land use change are very important. Land use/cover interdependencies with climate change, first of all: ecosystem services modelling based on land use/cover data, predicting future land use based on scenarios, risk assessment of local communities based on land use change and ecosystem services modelling, and development of GIS technologies and techniques  related to land use change modelling.

The next applied methods are in the focus: From cell automata to agent-based modelling, spatial analysis of regional socio-economic datasets, application of remote sensed data, and text analysis of various policies.


Dr. Hajdú Zoltán

Administrative geography
Administrative geography is a part of the political geography, and refers to the hierarchy of the administrative areas relating to national structures. Theoretical questions of territorial organisation on the bases of spatial hiererchical telescope. Historical development of administrative divisions of Hungary and administrative divisions the member states of European Union. Geographycal characteristics of different countries, „Statoids” of special countries.
Dr. Jóna György
Spatial evolution of business networks
Nowadays numerous research theoretical and empirical results suggest that the inter-firm relationships and business networks can be recognized as a vital element of the driving force of regional competitiveness. In spite of this fact, the spatial evolution and territorial dimensions of economic networks so far have not been focused so intensively; we only know a few scientific facts about geographical aspects of business networks evolution processes.
Therefore overall purpose of this theoretical/empirical research is to scrutinize territorial approaches of economic networks longitudinally at nodal regional level by applying the novel way of spatial network analysis (SpNA).

Dr. Kassai Zsuzsanna
Assessment of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Ghana
Rural people can earn their livelihoods mainly via three strategies: agricultural intensification, migration and livelihood diversification. There have been many studies over the past years which have suggested livelihood diversification as an important tool to compact poverty among rural households in developing countries, and it gives individuals and households more capabilities to raise living standards. Therefore, livelihood diversification has become a desirable policy objective in developing countries. However, the actual evidence on how it impacts on specific dimensions of poverty, specifically on household income and food security, has still remained limited.
Livelihood diversification includes both on- and off-farm activities which are undertaken to generate income additional. Apparently, some empirical evidences on livelihood diversification are limited mainly to non-farm share of household income, with very minimal recourse to how these additional incomes influence other equally important welfare outcomes such as food consumption, education, and health.
There have been many livelihood development projects introduced to rural areas in Ghana for the past years, but most of these projects have had only limited results. The main reason for the lack of or limited success is that the most of the intervention regimes in Ghana lack detailed study of the real problems of the rural population before designing and implementing these programmes. Therefore, there is a significant need to identify livelihood diversification strategies in Ghana, and assess their effectiveness, their impacts on rural poverty and food security.

Dr. Khademi-Vidra Anikó
The study of the consumer habits

The study of the consumer habits has proven a quite diverse, exciting and varying research topic. The commercial attitude of the recent years has largely been determined by the global economic crisis resulting in several changes of the consumer behavior and having the majority of consumers find new reference points that make the consumer decisions more economical, conscious as well as more demanding. Simultaneously, owing to the large scale development of online commercial space new consumer habits and new ways of conduct have developed radically modifying the basic theses of former consumer paradigms. The research topic attempts to focus on the description of the above mentioned consumer trends trying to analyze the complex, inter- and multi-disciplinary progresses of consumption in their diversity.

Dr. Khademi-Vidra Anikó
The regional questions of education
The educational systems can be considered as effective if they reflect to the demands of the labor market of the relevant society. Independently of the public education or adult education, state-funded education provided within the school system or private education provided outside the school system the success can be measured by the high number of employees in a relevant profession.  The highlighting of the reflection of regional education may be one of the most determining segment of the components forming an effectiveness rate. The frequent tension between supply and demand in the education derives from the fact that the centralized educational curricula hardly consider the demands of the regional and sub regional education as well as the labor market. In the frame of the research topic the review of the Hungarian and foreign educational systems (primarily the higher education)  based on a sensitive, regional attitude, respectively the elaboration of comparative examinations and the critical analyses of the educational trends of the EU (Education 2020) may be studied.
Dr. Kovács András
Smart cities and tourism development
The term ‘Smart city’ can be explained in broad horizon. Globalization, rapid technological development, considerable socio-economic transitions and diminishing welfare expenditures of states and local governments result in new conditions for cities that have to face new challenges all over the world. Smart city concepts and solutions do not refer only to smart technology-based solutions for local citizens and companies, but these new approaches can contribute to a more sustainable city-models. Smart city do not only mean IT-solutions, but – in a wider sense – it is a city management philosophy and toolkit that help more effective and efficient local government activities.
Tourism development plays an important role in regional development and in smart city development too. Smart solutions in tourism can help not only foreign and domestic tourist during their free time activities in cities, but it can contribute to the welfare and wellbeing of the locals and can generate additional local investments, thus facilitate the local economies (and generate local tax revenues).
Doctoral students will research - in the framework of this topic - the smart city-related problems in tourism. After studying the international literature and analyzing international examples of smart tourism-related solutions students have to conduct primary research on a selected city. Based on the secondary and primary researches, they have to build an own model on smart tourism development and have to adapt it into an existing smart city model.


Dr. Kozári József

Impacts of climate change (global warming and drying) on agriculture

Climate change adaptation among farmers and rural communities has been the main concern of most stakeholders in developing countries, with much focus on assisting farmers to improve their adaptive capacity. Adaptation to climate change has the ability to reduce adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture, reducing financial problems.. Adaptation measures can be classified according to their intent and purposefulness, timing and duration; scale and responsibility; and form. By intent and purposefulness, adaptations undertaken are classified as spontaneous or autonomous vis-à-vis conscious or planned actions. Farmers usually adapt to climate change by modifying the set of crops farmers choose to plant and their agronomic practices. Others also adapt through the use of an improved irrigation system, organic fertilizers, change from farming to non-farming, drought-tolerant crop varieties and mixed cropping. For any effective adaptation policy, the decisions and strategies in addressing the impact of climate change on farmers must take into account farmers’ knowledge and perception of climate change, their potential adaptation measures, and possible barriers and constraints to such adaptation. Combination of different elements is question of the future activity.

Dr. L. Rédei Mária
Recent processes of in- and outland mobility in Hungary and their regional impact on employment
Hungary is an important geographical channel in migratory flows in Europe. Especially in 2008, when Hungary became part of the Schengen area and a few months later the financial and economic crisis broke out. All these recent trends affect Europe. In the first period of migration, the main concern was security, this is over now, presently the focal point is placed on potential benefits such as remittances, employment, indirect demographic impacts; gain and loss balance. One of the main problems of Hungary is the low level of employment. The contributing factors are various. The regional disparities - mainly in lagging behind regions - are complex and historically different. Even in 1990 Hungary still was a receiving country, but since 2010 outflow has caused a concern. As to migration in Hungary two things are crucial: the low level of mobility efforts and the high level of residential ownership. These are barriers to be flexible and in a crisis era to get the best accessible opportunities. In the focus of our interest there are two questions: What kind of correlation can be verified between employment and mobility rate? What can we recommend to local actors to develop the standards of living?
 Dr. Michalkó Gábor
The effects of tourism on the socio-economic processes of a destination
Today tourism plays an inevitable role in the free time of anyone, meanwhile it is strongly connected to the field of work. Despite the fact that tourism appears most visibly in the sectors of public catering and travel agencies, there are hardly any segments of the society or the economy where it is not possible to reveal the symbiotic links between the two things. These usually become apparent in everyday life by the development and marketing of touristic products such as health-tourism or cultural tourism. Students will analyze the complex social and economic effects of a freely chosen product of tourism and its effects on territorial characteristics. Appropriate methodology of social sciences will have to be applied.
Dr. Vörös Mihály

Utilization of quality food and gastronomy tourism in regional development


According to world tourism statistics more than third of tourist spending is devoted to food. Over and above the high quality origin or local food & wine products have been becoming a special driving force of tourism development in all over the world. Tourists have growing interests to attend different quality food & wine tasting events, gastronomic festivals, fairs, local farmers markets etc. Gastronomy tourism is an alternative tourism form, out of the mass tourism, developing and spreading rapidly in all over the world which aims pastime of appealing, authentic, memorable culinary experiences of all kinds for tourists travelling internationally, regionally or even locally. In addition it is an important marketing instrument from at least two sides: firstly marketing of food and gastronomic products in certain rural regions as tourism destinations, and secondly it helps to avoid tourism seasonality because it can be operated continuously along the whole year. Therefore, it can provide important economic and social advantages at country, regional and local level as well by improving the fortune of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) involved in food and tourism businesses. According to recent research findings a number of traditional food and wine products protected by EU (PDO, PGI,TSG) or national (TTR, Hungarikum etc.) brands have not been successfully promoted and obtained recognitions by the domestic or foreign consumers. Therefore, desirable characteristics and quality requirements of food products should be scientifically re-examined before promotion. On the other hand advanced food and gastronomy tourism packages could also be initiated and implemented in the region by identifying and integrating food culture and gastronomic heritage with typical, local, traditional quality food & wine products, as marketable rural values and attractions. For this the development of innovative territorial marketing portfolios should also be designed, developed and applied based on utilizing the most modern digital and web-marketing communication tools. Gastronomy tourism creates an ideal medium for domestic and international recognition and promotion of rural destinations which significantly contribute to the sustainable regional development.  


Dr. Vörös Mihály

Local food supply systems (LFSS)

Food markets are becoming increasingly international and global in developed and developing countries all over the world. At the same time, urbanization has increased the physical and psychological distance between urban and rural residents. It has separated city people from knowing where, how and by whom the materials for their food are produced, grown and processed, without considering the origin and components of the product. As a consequence of rapid urbanization, the proportion of agricultural production has been diminished in the national economy in developed countries. There existssecure food supply systems, but usually, less than 5% of the population produce food. Under such circumstances when consumers are distant from the scenery of food production, many of them lose appreciation of existing food systems, become indifferent about agricultural landscapes and become unaware of the multiple ecosystem services provided by rural areas and agricultural production. There is an increasing interest in diet and health, as well as the environment, but at the same time, most urban consumers are concerned with only product quantity and prices in supermarkets. The „local food supply system” (LFSS) means a unique micro-agro-social-ecological system characterized by special natural endowments, soil micro-organisms, climatic conditions, crop varieties, livestock-breeds as well as labour and technical resources and infrastructure which are operated and utilized by food producers and consumers living and communicating in a certain region. It aims to produce and supply diversified variety of agricultural and food products according to the needs of local consumers as well as to develop food self-sufficiency and to improve healthiness of dietary and quality of life (QOL) of people in that region.