Winning and losing: The changing geography of Europe's rural areas

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The rural areas of Europe have rarely experienced as dynamic or pervasive a period of change as that confronting them at the start of the 21st century,and they have rarely in recent memory carried as much political significance as they do today. These two observations are not unrelated. The sharp decline in the economic significance of agriculture and other resource-exploitation industries, the increased mobility of populations into, within and out of rural regions, the commodification of the countryside for amenity purposes and the promotion of new environmental and animal welfare standards and values, and, crosscutting the above, the intensifying integration of rural localities into global networks, flows and processes, have not just reshaped rural societies and economies but have posed significant political challenges. The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, the protection of the rural environment and landscape, the role of the state in regenerating lagging rural regions and supporting rural services, and the resolution of conflicts over the development of rural space or the regulation of rural activities, are major issues for governments across Europe and will in turn have an impact on the future trajectory of the European countryside.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-283
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Urban and Regional Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2011


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