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Rural Development Institute

LibGuide for Rural Development students at BU!

Welcome to the Rural Development Institute Guide

This guide is intended to help you find resources for Rural Development Institute and information from

  • Research works on RDI's five strategic research directions
  • Print and electronic books and publications
  • Journals, reports, presentations and sample e-books
  • Theses, webinars and research briefs
  • Trustworthy internet sites and web resources

Use the tabs on the side to navigate through the pages of the guide.

Featured Research Briefs

Episode 1 of The Research Center Series

The Rural Development Institute
Presenter: William Ashton

Featured books on Rural Development

Rural Tourism Development

Rural tourism represents a merging of perhaps two of the most influential yet contradictory features of modern life. Not only are the forces of economic, social, cultural, environmental and political change working to redefine rural spaces the world over, but broad global transformations in consumption and transportation patterns are reshaping leisure behaviour and travel. For those concerned with both the nature of change in rural areas and tourism development, the dynamics and impacts of integrating these two dramatic shifts are not well known but yet are becoming increasingly provocative discourses for study. This book links changes at the local, rural community level to broader, more structural considerations of globalization and allows for a deeper, more theoretically sophisticated consideration of the various forces and features of rural tourism development. While Canadian in content, the cases and discussions presented in this book can be considered generally relevant to any rural region, continentally and globally, that has undertaken or is considering rural tourism development.

Rural Development: Knowledge & Expertise in Governance

This book offers a unique perspective on rural development, by discussing various influential perspectives and making their risks and benefits understandable. The authors do not present a magical formula to solve all issues, or to show the best possible future. Rather, they give students, researchers, community leaders, politicians, concerned citizens and development organizations the conceptual tools to understand how things are organized now, which development path has already been taken, and how things could possibly move in a different direction. Van Assche and Hornidge pay special attention to the different roles of knowledge in rural development, both expert knowledge in various guises and local knowledge. Crafting development strategies requires understanding how new knowledge can fit in and work out in governance. Players in governance bring their own realities to the table, their own ideas on the knowledge necessary for development. Drawing on various theories and on projects and experiences on five continents, the book shows how ways to organize governance, approaches to development, and rural development perspectives, are inextricably tied. A community is much better placed to choose direction, when it understands these ties.

Rural Wealth Creation

This book investigates the role of wealth in achieving sustainable rural economic development. The authors define wealth as all assets net of liabilities that can contribute to well-being, and they provide examples of many forms of capital - physical, financial, human, natural, social, and others. They propose a conceptual framework for rural wealth creation that considers how multiple forms of wealth provide opportunities for rural development, and how development strategies affect the dynamics of wealth. They also provide a new accounting framework for measuring wealth stocks and flows. These conceptual frameworks are employed in case study chapters on measuring rural wealth and on rural wealth creation strategies. Rural Wealth Creation makes numerous contributions to research on sustainable rural development. Important distinctions are drawn to help guide wealth measurement, such as the difference between the wealth located within a region and the wealth owned by residents of a region, and privately owned versus publicly owned wealth. Case study chapters illustrate these distinctions and demonstrate how different forms of wealth can be measured. Several key hypotheses are proposed about the process of rural wealth creation, and these are investigated by case study chapters assessing common rural development strategies, such as promoting rural energy industries and amenity-based development. Based on these case studies, a typology of rural wealth creation strategies is proposed and an approach to mapping the potential of such strategies in different contexts is demonstrated. This book will be relevant to students, researchers, and policy makers looking at rural community development, sustainable economic development, and wealth measurement.

The Methodology of Political Economy

The importance of the global rural-urban matrix is often overlooked due to urban-normativity. But sometimes agrarian populism and a pastoral rural imaginary result in the equally fallacy of a rural-normativity, as in Jeffersonian nostalgia for a lost way of life that never existed. The nature of rurality in North America is important to study, but as Alessandro Bonanno makes clear, we cannot limit ourselves to the study of one or two nation-states. We must take a global perspective when it comes to the bio-physical environment and the nature of the world capitalist system. This collection takes such a perspective. The editor frames the contributions with a Meta-Paradigm called the New Political Economy Perspective (NPEP) and explains the roots of that approach in Classical Political Economy and the Canadian Political Economy Tradition of Harold Adams Innis. There are chapters by an anthropologist, a geographer, two generalist sociologists and a group of rural sociologists. There is also a chapter on psychiatry and mental health; and, another chapter which discusses pedagogy. The use of an inter-disciplinary framework to study global issues makes this a stimulating book which provides a window on issues that are often overlooked.

Land Use Planning Made Plain

Land Use Planning Made Plain is a practical guide for planners, administrators, politicians, developers, property owners, and the general public on how to make and implement land use decisions. It seeks to develop a set of coherent planning principles by drawing out useful and generally applicable elements from various systems and approaches. Hok-Lin Leung's focus is on planning at the city level, and he has organized the text according to the logical sequence of plan-making: justifications for making a land use plan, a plan for plan-making, planning goals, information, analysis, synthesis, and implementation. He addresses major debates in land planning today, including controversial material, and concludes with suggestions on the qualifications and qualities of a land use planner. By encouraging a shared understanding of the purpose, analytic skills and substantive considerations of plan-making - as well as the ways and means of plan-implementation - this book helps the planner to become more responsible and responsive to the many issues surrounding land use and its important role in addressing human needs.


If communities are to tackle complex issues and support the transformational change needed for an uncertain future, a new and different kind of leadership is required. This book provides the practical how-to for making it a reality. Presented as six competencies for community leadership, each is expanded with indicators and stories illustrating what can be done to ensure active, creative, engaged communities. A must-read for anyone who cares and wants to make a difference in their community.

Fashioning Reality

Fashioning Reality is the entertaining story of a young entrepreneur whose refreshing new approach is changing the fashion industry and influencing the popular perceptions of beauty in the media. Ben Barry takes the reader along to New York fashion shows an reveals the work of top modelling agencies, designers, cosmetic lines, and magazines. He shares his challenges, his successes, and his struggles to run a business that is consistent with his personal values.