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Restructuring is a widely-used concept which denotes rapid and, often, far-reaching socio-economic transformation processes in communities, localities, regions and nations. This book seeks to explain the processes of restructuring in rural communities, focusing on the trends of the 1990s. The empirical material was derived from case studies in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Russia, Sweden and Finland, Ireland, the United States, Vietnam, and Australia. The case studies excplore capitalist and neocapitalist restructuring in the East and West in traditional, modern, post-industrial and translocal communities.
The book explores restructuring processes associated with policy to sector-specific issues from the global to the local level. The book concludes with the presentation of a multicausal theory of local economic development, which is intended to assist in understanding restructuring processes in rural areas and, hence, to help design appropriate responses to the pressures restructuring generates.
The case studies demonstrate that communities and entire regions are adapting continuously to changing economic conditions. The authors conclude that local development policy must be reflexive and dynamic. Only economically and socially sustainable solutions which take account of the long-term socio-economic prospects can be recommended. The development policy followed must possess the ability to adapt to new circumstances and it must be proficient in anticipating economic development and individual needs.
This research was associated to the research programme of the United Nations University World Institute of Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER), Helsinki.
Cecily Neil is a sociologist and Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Markku Tykkyläinen is a geographer and Senior Fellow in the Academy of Finland, researching at the University of Joensuu.