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.

Rural Policy and Planning

Rural policy and planning
Mark B.Lapping

Introduction: Roots and Branches

Because rural planning and policy can cover an array of issues and problems, such as housing, poverty, health care delivery, transportation, gender, land use, conservation and much else-indeed it is such a broad term as to almost lose meaning — it is perhaps best to recognize that the very notions of ‘planning’ and ‘planned change’ reflect the optimism, the belief in the power of empirical science, and the desire of people and states to shape both nature and society which accompanied the Enlightenment. As Isaiah Berlin pointed out throughout his long career as a student of ideas, many of these Enlightenment and ‘modernist’ impulses actually found their origins in utopian thinking (see, generally, Berlin, ...

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