As the first book in the Restructuring Rural Areas series, "Constructing the countryside" presents a new methodological approach to the analysis of rural change. The authors seek to link wider developments in the global political economy to the behaviour of local actors and, in so doing, they place research into rural studies much more firmly than hitherto in the mainstream of social science enquiry. The outcome is a book that promotes a truly interdisciplinary approach through which the constant "reconstruction" of the countryside can be properly understood. This holistic perspective, sustained by an historical analysis of rural change, has been made possible by the extensive research experience of the authors.; The book is a product of the work done at the London Countryside Research Centre, which was set up in 1989 by the Economic and Social Research Council. The Centre's research has focused upon the social and political forces for change in rural areas and how these relate to rapid alterations in national economic circumstances and to public policies affecting the countryside for example, the Common Agricultural Policy of the EC .; On the one hand, the book provides a set of insights into the trends that will guide rural change in advanced economies into the next century; on the other, it offers a challenging account of how they can be investigated.; "Constructing the countryside" will appeal to both students and staff in a wide range of social science disciplines, including agricultural economics, environmental management, planning, land economy, geography and rural sociology, and to all those concerned with the future development of rural areas.; This book is intended for students and researchers in rural planning and environmental/geographical studies, whether within a geographical or a sociological milieu.