Reversals in space concern the present concentration of skills, wealth and power in the cores, draining and depriving the peripheries. They have two main complementary aspects: where people live and work, and seek to live and work; and where authority and resources are located. Decentralisation is one key to these spatial reversals. Many forces centralise power, professionals and resources in the urban cores: this is encouraged by national, urban and class interests; communications; markets and facilities; distrust of the peripheries and of those lower in the political and administrative hierarchies; personal interests in convenience, services and promotion; and the sheer weight of political and administrative influence. Political economy is more a set of questions than a discipline. In practical rural development it is concerned especially with who gains and who loses. Most rural development plans, programmes and projects intended to help the poorer people are non-frontal.