Report on the State of Rural Areas


Report on the State of Rural Areas

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Our biannual reports on the development of agriculture and rural areas have made a lasting contribution to the dissemination of knowledge on complex processes taking place in Poland’s rural areas, which are essential components of Polish society, culture and economy. All the reports published to date have been interdisciplinary in character and based on the methodological approach that, in our view, is needed for understanding and describing those processes. Such a way of presenting various determinants of growth, trends, structural transformations and development effects visible in rural areas in Poland is the differentia specifica of our Report, when compared with other publications on agriculture and rural development. For us, the slogan “to understand rural areas” is a beacon in methodological and editorial terms. This is not an easy task since the subject matter that the authors of the Report deal with is extremely complicated.

The authors of the Report are among Poland’s most eminent researchers of phenomena taking place in rural areas. Their expertise and findings from research conducted in several academic centres serve to discuss major demographic, economic, political and social developments. The Report, in its methodological and editorial approach, aims to present scientific knowledge in a way that is accessible to a wider audience. Our ambition is for the Report to be read not only by academic and political circles or the media, but also by ordinary readers – representatives of local communities, whether rural or municipal. We look at popularisation of knowledge on rural development as our principal task.

Every time, both the authors and the editors are faced with the challenging task of selecting areas or topics for analysis concerning the functioning and development of Poland’s rural areas. We are not able to present a report that would capture all aspects of these complex issues – that would go beyond our financial, editorial and technical capabilities. Nevertheless, we aim to provide preface 10 a broadly reliable picture that discusses phenomena of particular importance for rural areas and agriculture. Our readers appreciate such an approach, and therefore the Report has a relatively wide audience.

The previous editions of the Report featured chapters which addressed crucial questions concerning the state of rural areas, their problems, changes and achievements. These included such issues as: changes of the demographic structure, sources of livelihood for the rural population, scale of poverty in rural areas, major social problems facing rural areas and how their social structures are changing, the “political map” of rural areas, main changes in Polish agriculture and their effects. Since 2004, we have specifically tried to describe and expound the process of European integration pertinent to rural areas and agriculture and its effects. These issues are also discussed in the present Report.


An English-language summary of the latest report is available on page 273 :






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