What makes peripheral places matter? Applying the concept of political capital within a multiple capital framework

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Abstract

Present research focusses on how urbanization has led to ‘territorial inequality’ that marginalizes ‘places that don’t matter’, understood as places neglected by politicians. In this strand of literature, rural areas are consequently singled out as belonging to the unfortunate group of ‘left behind places’ and ‘places that don’t matter’. However, to what extent can this be supported empirically? Based on a Danish national survey we conducted 2011/2012, and applying the concept of political capital within a multiple capital framework, we attempt to answer three questions: Do rural areas per se have little political power and influence? What makes some rural areas have more political capital than others? Does local political capital influence the local development in rural areas? We measure political capital by asking respondents in 476 rural parishes to assess how much influence local citizens exert on political decisions that concern their own, local area. The results show a significant variation in political capital across the sample. Further, regression analyses show that the local stocks of five forms of capital (physical, economic, human, social, symbolic) are positively related to the level of local political capital. Finally, regression analyses show that the initial level of political capital in 2012 has a positive and long-term effect on rural population growth throughout the period 2012-2023, while controlling for various exogenous factors.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer103136
TidsskriftJournal of Rural Studies
Vol/bind103
Antal sider10
ISSN0743-0167
DOI
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2023

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