The discipline of rural studies is younger and less experienced as a scholarly field, compared to urban studies, with social sciences traditionally being focused on identifying, theorising and measuring socio-economic processes that are concentrated in urban areas. It was only in the 1970s that interest in rural areas emerged, as a counterweight to urban dominance, possibly because during the Industrial Revolution the importance of agriculture with respect to the economy declined. Prior to the 1980s and the emergence of rural studies, territorial inequalities and disparities were defined and resolved within regional policy, where rurality was incorporated as a subcategory within various measures and as a part of national transport, social, and other policies. Sectoral approaches were applied to solving territorial problems, including rural areas which were most closely linked to agriculture and agricultural policy and whose territorial dimension became more accentuated in connection with the need to introduce reforms.