Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Institute for Futures Studies

No 2008:1: Kunskap om landsbygden. Dags för en ny agenda!

Erik Westholm () and Cecilia Waldenström
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Erik Westholm: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The working paper presents a new research agenda for Swedish rural research. Starting from a theoretical discussion on rurality as a research field and the motives for a specific rural research, we move to issues of definition and research perspectives. In the end, the specific rural environment has two basic features. Sparse structures affecting all aspects of human activity including social relations, demography, economy etc. and the rural physical environment which is different from the urban. The paper suggests six research fields altogether creating the core of Swedish rural research: natural resources in production and governance, demographic challenges, the rural economy, local development, rural policies and finally ”the new rurality”. This last field is an attempt to look forward and address issues following on today’s major trends. The new rurality also point at a the paradigmatic shift for rural areas in Sweden that may follow from climate change and increasing energy and food prices as well as an increase in the demand for forest products.

Keywords: Rural; research

JEL-codes: R10

22 pages, January 2008

Price: 25 SEK

Note: ISSN: 1652-120X; ISBN: 978-91-85619-19-1

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