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European Countryside

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno

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Volume 6, Issue 4


Beyond Post-Productivism: From Rural Policy Discourse To Rural Diversity

Åsa Almstedt / Patrick Brouder / Svante Karlsson / Linda Lundmark
Published Online: 2014-12-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/euco-2014-0016


There has been a strong discourse in public policy aimed at transforming rural places from venues of primary production into truly diverse socioeconomic landscapes. Yet conceptualisations of the rural as envisioned in the policy and politics of the ‘new economy’ often prove to be elusive on the ground. However, post-productive activity in rural areas has become a major focus for rural studies scholars. This paper investigates the ideas of post-productivism in the existing literature, and argues for a holistic understanding of post-productivism as an idea and political ambition rather than an imperative and irreversible change of rural economic activity. The purpose of the study is to make clear the division between post-productivism and the related concepts of post-production and post-productive activities in order to better understand processes of rural change in relation to different geographical contexts. It is argued that post-productivism as a concept stands apart from de facto post-production and alternative concepts such as multifunctionality and should be regarded as part of broader regional development discourses. The paper outlines several important fields in which post-productivism is a necessary component for rural transformation and development. While it is not always easily captured in indicators or empirical studies in rural locations, postproductivism exists at the level of discourse and planning and thus has real effects on the ground. The paper concludes by offering suggestions on how to apply the concepts of post-productivism, post-production and multifunctionality in future studies.


De senaste årens landsbygdspolitik kännetecknas av en stark diskurs för att omvandla platser från dominerande primärproduktion till skiftande socioekonomiska aktiviteter där inte minst turism förväntas inta en stark ställning. Omvandlingsambitionen framträder särskilt starkt i styrdokument och projektverksamhet, samtidigt som tydliga och omfattande reella avtryck ofta lyser med sin frånvaro. Däremot har post-produktiva verksamheter på landsbygden blivit

Keywords: change; multifunctionality; policy; post-productivism; production; rural


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About the article

Received: 2014-03-14

Accepted: 2014-09-26

Published Online: 2014-12-30

Published in Print: 2014-12-01

Citation Information: European Countryside, Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 297–306, ISSN (Online) 1803-8417, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/euco-2014-0016.

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© by Åsa Almsted. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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