Today the use of the term "countryside" reflects a dual historical shift due to the decreasing importance of agriculture - both in terms of employment and production - in European economies and the shift toward the environment. An increasing part of rural populations is being drawn into non-agricultural sectors such as tourism, construction, manufacturing, and the conventional and innovative services, thereby granting a more diversified and contemporary role to the countryside. The environmental shift has questioned many of the very fundamental premises governing the relationship between social practices and nature. Agenda 2000 and the ongoing debate concerning the CAP reforms are connected to a large extent with these new realities. This book focuses on the prospects for the development of the Southern European countryside during a transitional period of a major policy paradigm shift. Bringing together case studies from Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece, the book discusses the key issues mentioned above, as well as the restricting factors and prospects of the adjustments required.
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