The Handbook of Rural Studies represents the vitality and theoretical innovation at work in rural studies. It shows how political economy and the "cultural turn" have led to very significant new thinking in the cultural representations of: rurality; nature; sustainability; new economies; power and rurality; new consumerism; and exclusion and rurality.It is organized in three sections: approaches to rural studies; rural research: key theoretical co-ordinates and new rural relations.In a rich and textured discussion, the Handbook of Rural Studies explains the key moments in which the theorization of culture, nature, politics, agency, and space in rural contexts have transmitted ideas back into wider social science.

The State and Rural Polity

The state and rural polity


The objective of this chapter is to illustrate the current debate on the role of the state in contemporary capitalism. In particular, attention will be paid to those studies that investigate state actions in relation to the evolution of agro-food, the environment and alternative and emerging uses of rural space. While the vast majority of works on the state pertain to the study of political systems and settings, analyses of the role that the state played in the evolution of rural areas have been qualitatively important. This chapter will review them along with general theories of the state. The chapter opens with a socio-historical account of the evolution of the characteristics and actions of the state ...

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