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Maija Halonen and Mari Kattilakoski

Abstract

This article examines how do municipalities aim to promote well-being in sparsely populated rural villages, and how are villagers involved in the measures of well-being undertaken in their municipality. The main analysis is based on the interviews of municipal representatives in the case study of North Karelia, Finland. The analysis of well-being and participation, and their relation to the social inclusion of rural inhabitants is executed under the themes of mobility, services, democratic involvement and civic action. The policy measures seek to improve liveability of the environment and the villagers’ quality of life. Participation, as a means and an end of well-being and inclusion, involves the dimensions of structural inclusion, as well as genuine participation and citizen engagement.

Open access

Maija Halonen, Juha Kotilainen, Markku Tykkyläinen and Eero Vatanen

Abstract

The article aims to show how local industry life cycles impact the development of Finnish resource-based rural towns. This study reveals five long-term and overlapping industry cycles which were based on natural resources, assembly industries and service production. In general, the cycles have shortened over time. Transitions from cycle to cycle were enabled by the phases of resilience, which were highly dependent on political and economic processes at different scales. However, the political interventions of the last decades were unable to compensate for the disadvantages in competitiveness of this remote area and lay sustainable foundations for new industries. In the long run, the only exception has been the forest-related processing industry which has a capacity to renew its own operations and adapt to changing market situations. The results demonstrate the high significance of absolute advantage in rural development