This book reflects on how the economies, social characteristics, ways of life and global relationships of rural areas of Europe have changed in recent years. This reveals a need to refresh the concepts we use to understand, measure and describe rural communities and their development potential. This book argues that Europe has 'outgrown' many of the stereotypes usually associated with it, with substantial implications for European Rural Policy.
Rural structural change and its evolving geography are portrayed through regional typologies and the concept of the New Rural Economy. Demographic change, migration, business networks and agricultural restructuring are each explored in greater detail. Implications for equality and social exclusion, and recent developments in the field of governance are also considered. Despite being a subject of active debate, interventions in the fields of rural and regional development have failed to adapt to changing realities and have become increasingly polarized.
This book argues that rural/regional policy needs to evolve in order to address the current complex reality, partially reformulating territorial or place-based approaches, and the New Rural Paradigm, following a set of principles termed ‘Rural Cohesion Policy’.
I. Contemporary Rural Change and the concept of Territorial Cohesion 1. Introduction 2. The New Rural Economy and macro-scale patterns 3. The evolution of European rural policy 4. Parallel Worlds? Comparing the perspectives and rationales of EU Rural Development and Cohesion Policy 5. Territorial Cohesion: US and Canadian Perspectives on the Concept II. The changes taking place in Rural Europe 6. Demographic trends in Rural Europe 7. Reconciling Labour Mobility and Cohesion Policies 8. Business networks and translocal linkages and the way to the NRE 9. Agricultural Restructuring in the EU: An Irish Case Study III. Impacts and Opportunities for Intervention 10. Changing social characteristics, patterns of inequality and exclusion 11. Beyond the New Rural Paradigm: Project state and collective reflexive agency