Arbetsrapport, Institutet för Framtidsstudier - Institute for Futures Studies
Understanding rural change - demography as a key to the future
() and Erik Westholm
Abstract: The last decades have seen a rapidly growing interest in
foresight methodology. Methods have been developed in corporate and
governmental communication exercises often labelled technology foresight.
In reality, these foresights have often drifted into processes of social
change, since technological change is hard to foresee beyond what is
already in the pipe-line. Forecasting of social change, however, must be
based on solid knowledge about the mechanisms of continuity and change.
Virtually nothing can be said about the future without relating to the
past; foresights and futures studies are about revealing the hidden pulse
of history. Hence, the answer to forecasting the future is empirical
research within the social sciences.
Demographic change has been
recognised as a key determinant for explaining social change. Population
changes are fairly predictable and the age transition can explain a wide
range of socio-economic changes. For rural futures, demographic change is a
key issue, since age structure in rural areas is often uneven and also
unstable due to migration patterns. A number of policy related questions as
well as research challenges are raised as a consequence.
Keywords: demographic change; rural futures; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: R11; R23; (follow links to similar papers)
19 pages, April 2006
ISSN 1652-120X; ISBN 13: 978-91-89655-89-8; ISBN 10: 91-89655-89-3
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