This volume represents the result of almost two decades of trans-Atlantic collaborative development of a policy research paradigm, the International Comparative Rural Policy Studies program. Over this period dozens of scientists from different disciplines but with a common interest in rural issues and policy have collaboratively studied the policies in North America, Europe, and other parts of the world.
A core element of the book is the idea and practice of comparative research and analysis – what can be learned from comparisons, how and why policies vary in different contexts, and what lessons might or might not be “transferable” across borders. It provides skills for the use of comparative methods as important tools to analyze the functioning of strategies and specific policy interventions in different contexts and a holistic approach for the management of resources in rural regions. It promotes innovation as a tool to valorize endogenous resources and empower local communities and offers case studies of rural policy in specific contexts. The book largely adopts a territorial approach to rural policy. This means the book is more interested in rural regions, their people and economies, and in the policies that affect them, than in rural sectors, and sectoral policies per se.
The audience of the book is by definition international and includes students attending courses in agricultural and rural policy, rural and regional studies, and natural resource management; lecturers seeking course material and case studies to present to their students in any of the courses listed above; professionals working in the field of rural policy; policy-makers and civil servants at different levels seeking tools to better understand rural policy both at the local and global scale and to better recognize and comprehend how to transfer best practices.
Table of Contents
List of figures. List of tables. Notes on contributors. Acknowledgements. Rural Policy Learning Commons. Introduction.
Part I: Introduction to comparative rural policy studies 1 What is rural? What is rural policy? What is rural development policy? 2 Comparing ruralities: the case of Canada and the United States. 3 What is rural? The historical evolution of rural typologies in Europe. 4 A comparative rural profile across OECD member countries. 5 Why comparative rural policy studies? Comparative theory and methods. 6 Policy process theory for rural policy. 7 Policy outcomes of decentralized public programs: implications for rural policy. 8 Co-constructing rural futures: understanding place-based development and policy. 9 Territorial capital in rural policy development.
Part II: People and society 10 International migration: sustaining rural communities. 11 Rural immigration and welcoming communities. 12 The role of women in rural areas. 13 Rural poverty in a comparative context. 14 Understanding the dimensions of aging and old age in rural areas. 15 Rural health and well-being. 16 Rural policy and the cultural construction of the urban/rural divide in the United States and Europe.
Part III: Resources and environment 17 Environmental policy: what are the options? 18 The inefficiency of resource policy as a mechanism to deliver rural policy. 19 The water–energy–food–climate nexus. 20 Governance of watersheds in rural areas. 21 Rethinking energy in agricultural and rural areas. 22 Conventional and alternative agri-food chains. 23 Building sustainable regional food systems: policies and support. 24 Drivers of food losses and their implications for the agro-food chain: selected case studies. 25 Fish as food: policies affecting food sovereignty for rural Indigenous communities in North America. 26 Public policies affecting community forest management.
Part IV: Innovation 27 Social economy and entrepreneurship in rural areas. 28 Grounded innovation in the rural bioeconomy. 29 Innovation, broadband, and community resilience. 30 Climate change adaptation by farmers: the case of Nepal.
Part V: Rural policy reviews 31 Rural policy in the United States. 32 Rural policy in Canada. 33 Rural policy in Europe. 34 Rural policy in the Western Balkans.
Part VI: Comparative rural policy case studies 35 Peri-urban agricultural policies in Canada and France. 36 A non-profit as a policy actor? A case study of the Breds Treasure Beach Foundation in Jamaica. 37 Post-Soviet rural areas towards European integration: the difficult transition of Moldova. 38 “Why local governments?” An ongoing debate in rural New Brunswick, Canada. 39 A comparative case study of the Main Street Program in the United States. 40 Community-managed forestry in Palo Seco, Mexico. 41 Land ownership and land management policies in Norway and Scotland. 42 Local policies addressing poverty and social exclusion in rural Spain during the recession. 43 Integral mountain development in Spain: an historical review.
Matteo Vittuari, PhD, is Associate Professor in Agricultural, Food and Rural Policy and Agricultural Policy Evaluation at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
John Devlin, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Rural Planning and Development Program, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph, Canada.
Marco Pagani, PhD, is a Research Fellow in the Rural Policy Learning Commons Project.
Thomas Johnson, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri, USA.