Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development, Poland

The Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development is situated in the Social Sciences Department of the Polish Academy of Sciences. It was established in 1971. The Institute has adopted an inter-disciplinary approach to its studies, focused on the socio-economic development of rural areas. The Institute is comprised of specialists representing many different disciplines: economics, sociology, demography, ethnology, education, spatial geography, etc., all of whom share an interest in rural and agricultural issues.

The Institute has been monitoring ongoing processes in rural areas from both the economic and social perspectives and has tried to define premises for long-term development strategies of rural areas and of the transformation that agriculture must undergo in the process of integration with the European Union.

The Institute's basic orientation is to develop alternative concepts of rural development. The Institute also conducts diagnostic work and uses these diagnoses to formulate analyses and prognoses concerning contemporary transformation processes in rural areas in the economic and social domains.

Research areas include:

  • major mechanisms and dilemmas of rural and agricultural development as premises for formulation of development strategies for rural areas
  • cultural, social and economic determinants of the process of adjustment to integration with the European Union
  • spatial differences in cultural, social and economic characteristics of rural areas - the unification versus regionalisation dilemma
  • the Institute conducts a number of detailed studies in the spheres of rural education, infrastructure, unemployment, rural institutions, labour resources, less favoured rural areas, rural tourism, rural small business, transformation of former state farms, local leaders, etc.

Some publications are available on the Institute’s website, but only in Polish.