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Rural Society and Economy

Rural landscapeOur research into Rural Society and Economy covers the social and economic aspects of communities in rural areas. It is place based rather than focussed on specific sectors of the rural economy and examines the experiences of people living and working in rural Scotland. As linkages between communities and natural resources are a key priority in rural areas there are strong linkages between this work and our research on Ecosystems and BiodiversitySustainable Society and Water and Land. This work actively integrates social sciences and economics and includes economic performance and economic opportunities in rural areas; differential social outcomes in rural communities; development of social capital and resilient communities; relationships of people to land use and land management; governance and decision making in rural communities and linkages between urban and rural areas of Scotland.

Strategic Links

The Scottish Government's Strategic Research Themes on Rural Communities, Ecosystem Services, Land Use, Food and Healthy Safe Diets are relevant to rural communities as well as the Centre of Expertise on Climate Change(ClimateXChange) which aims to deliver objective, independent, integrated and authoritative evidence to support the Scottish Government in relation to its activities on climate change mitigation, adaption and transition to a low carbon economy including aspects of community renewable energy and domestic energy use. The research also has key links to sectoral themes such as Food and Drink and Agricultural Policy where the issues are of relevance to local communities.

Related Policy Areas

Most Scottish Government policy has a rural dimension,for example Housing, Health, Transport, Energy, Schools and Local Government as well as Farming, Food and Drink and Rural Communities.  Rural Society and Economy research is cross-cutting, involving different policy areas and stakeholders depending on the nature of the research.