Pathways of rural change: an integrated assessment of metabolic patterns in emerging ruralities
- 540 Downloads
While rural transformations are nothing new in human history, current processes of rural change occur under multiple forces at an unprecedented pace, involving profound and unexpected changes in land use and users, and rapid transformations in the metabolic patterns of rural systems. The present special section aims to shed light on current drivers and pathways of rural change by analyzing, under a common conceptual and theoretical framework, examples of new ruralities that are emerging as responses across different world regions. Within this context, this introduction presents: (1) common research questions of the six presented cases of rural change; (2) the general theoretical and methodological framework of integrated assessment of societal metabolism adopted to analyze rural systems and (3) the main contributions and conclusions that could be drawn from six context-specific case studies from Asia, Latin America and Europe.
KeywordsBio-economy Complexity Integrated assessment Rural systems Societal metabolism
We are very grateful to Mario Giampietro and Jesús Ramos-Martín for their valuable comments. This article and the work of this special section are the result of a project initiated long ago, inspired by the lectures and discussions carried out within the rural system assessment group (http://www.ruralsystems.org/), and received thoughtful feedbacks from other members. We would especially mention Talía Waldron, Giuseppina Siciliano, Jaime Paneque and Oswaldo Viteri Salazar. We would also thank all the co-authors of the special section. The first author of this article gratefully appreciates the economic funding from Alianza 4U to contribute to the writing of this manuscript.
- Benayas, J. R., Martins, A., Nicolau, J. M., & Schulz, J. J. (2007). Abandonment of agricultural land: An overview of drivers and consequences. CAB Reviews Perspectives in Agriculture Veterinary Science Nutrition and Natural Resources, 2, 1–14.Google Scholar
- Cottrel, W. F. (1955). Energy and society: The relation between energy, social changes and economic development (p. 330). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- FAO (2013). FAO statistical databases. Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations. http://faostat.fao.org/. Accessed October 2013.
- Giampietro, M., Aspinall, R. J., Ramos-Martín, J. & Bukkens, S. G. F. (Eds). Resource accounting for sustainability: The nexus between energy, food, water and land use. Routledge series ‘Explorations in Sustainability and Governance’. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415720595/ (To be published 30th March 2014).
- Giampietro, M., & Mayumi, K. (2009). The biofuel delusion. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
- Giampietro, M., Mayumi, K., & Sorman, A. H. (2011). The metabolic pattern of societies: Where economists fall short. Vol. 15. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Goodman, D. (2004). Rural Europe redux? Reflections on alternative agro-food networks and paradigm change. Sociologia Ruralis, 44(1), 1–23 Google Scholar
- Hart, K. & Baldock, D. (2011). Greening the CAP: Delivering environmental outcomes through pillar one. Institute for European Environmental Policy. http://www.ieep.org.uk/assets/831/Greening_Pillar_1_IEEP_Thinkpiece_-_Final.pdf. Accessed February 2014.
- Lotka, A. J. (1956). Elements of mathematical biology. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
- Millenium Ecosystem Assessment. (2005). Ecosystems and human well-being: Synthesis. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.Google Scholar
- Renting, H., Rossing, W. A. H., Groot, J. C. J., Van der Ploeg, J. D., Laurent, C., Perraud, D., et al. (2009). Exploring multifunctional agriculture. A review of conceptual approaches and prospects for an integrative transitional framework. Journal of Environmental Management, 90, 112–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- United Nations (2012). World urbanization prospects—the 2011 revision. United Nations Organization, New York. http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/index.htm. Accessed January 10, 2014.
- van der Ploeg, J. D., & Renting, H. (2004). Behind the ‘redux’: A rejoinder to David Goodman. Sociologia Ruralis, 44(2), 234–242.Google Scholar
- White, L. A. (1949). The science of culture: A study of man and civilization. New York: Farrar, Straus and Company.Google Scholar
- Zipf, G. F. (1941). National unity and disunity. The nation as a bio-social organism. Bloomington, Indiana: Principia Press.Google Scholar