Approaches to Rural Development

Date: June 23, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m. (CDT)/5:00 p.m. (CEST)

Session Overview

Rural development is discussed not as a single approach or theory or practice, but rather as an approach applied to many different situations and benefiting from different disciplines. In one presentation, you will hear it as promoting sustainability in rural communities with attention on related policies. In another presentation, rural development is evident in mineral exploration which generates regional impacts. In addition, regions in another presentation are positioned as the new rural and defines governance and economy in terms of where people live and work. A final presentation sees rural development as a multi-disciplinary approach to improve the standard of living.

Discussion are welcomed to clarify our understandings and to critically review this sampling of approaches to rural development.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify several approaches and practices to rural development
  • Consider the territorial, social, and economic aspects of initiatives and policies aimed a developing rural regions
  • Argue pros and cons of development in rural areas


  • Brent Steel, Oregon State University, USA
  • Timo Aarrevaara, University of Lapland, Finland
  • Bill Ashton, Brandon University, Canada
  • Gabino Nava, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico


  • Read Chapter 1 in Christopher Simon, Brent S. Steel and Nicholas P. Lovrich, State and Local Government: Sustainability in the 21st Century (the original edition was Oxford University Press; second edition with Oregon State University, 2018).