Less Favoured Areas and Rural Decline
For many years, much attention has been paid to the role of agriculture in regions with longstanding socio-economic difficulties. However, this is only one of a larger and more complex set of issues concerning the rural economy in areas with a disadvantaged economic base. With a specific focus on the role of agriculture, this chapter discusses some of these issues from an economic viewpoint under a number of headings: definitions, classifications, theories, demography, development and policy. Its title, in concentrating on less (rather than more) favoured areas and on rural decline (rather than growth), can be interpreted as reflecting both the political fact that difficulties attract more public attention than opportunities, and the economic fact that change occurs ‘at the margin’.
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