This is the third in an essential series of Springer handbooks that explore key aspects of the nexus between demography and social science. With an inclusive international perspective, and founded on the principles of social demography, this handbook shows how the rural population, which recently dropped below 50 per cent of the world total, remains a vital segment of society living in proximity to much-needed developmental and amenity resources. The rich diversity of rural areas shapes the capacity of resident communities to address far-reaching social, environmental and ecomic challenges. Some will survive, become sustainable and even thrive, while others will suffer rapid depopulation. This handbook demonstrates how these future development trajectories will vary according to local characteristics including, but t limited to, population composition. The growing complexity of rural society is in part a product of significant international variations in population trends, making this comparative and comprehensive study of rural demography all the more relevant. Collating the latest research on international rural demography, the handbook will be an invaluable aid to policy makers as they try to understand how demographic dynamics depend on the ecomic, social and environmental characteristics of rural areas. It will also aid researchers assessing the unique factors at play in the rural context and endeavoring to produce meaningful results that will advance policy and scholarship. Finally, the handbook is an ideal text for graduate students in a spread of disciplines from sociology to international development.
Dr. Laszlo J. Kulcsar is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work. His field of expertise is social demography and regional development, with a particular emphasis on migration, urbanization and spatial inequalities. He does research on population dynamics and social change in rural areas, focusing on two major trends: aging and the impact of natural resource use. Dr. Kulcsar participates in NSF funded interdisciplinary research programs that tie population projections to land use change and the transforming rural landscape in the Great Plains. He also studies the social and demographic transformation of Eastern Europe from a historical perspective, with a particular emphasis on the post-socialist period. Dr. Kulcsar teaches courses on social and spatial inequalities, population dynamics, aging, immigration and sociological methodology. Katherine J. Curtis University of Wisconsin-Madison Assistant Professor PhD, Sociology, University of Washington. Curtis work broadly addresses the demography of inequality. Her analytical approach aims to address spatial and temporal aspects of the demographic features underlying inequality-generating processes. Her work consistently engages multiple literatures across disciplines to gain greater substantive and technical insight. Curtis work has been published in the fields top journal and featured in special publications and conferences focusing on spatial demography.