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English summary of Working Paper No. 5/2008


The working paper: 'Regional interdependency in knowledge society and experience economy seen from a rural perspective' takes up the discussion on interdependencies between rural areas and regions. The context in which the discussion is carried out is the knowledge society – in which experience economy is a part. It is an assumption that diversity of local identities in a region strengthens its competitive position in the experience economy. The paper applies a rural perspective. What is meant by ’rural perspective’ is extracted from empirical evidence from three research projects carried out in rural Denmark from 2001-2008.

The working paper argues that a rural perspective includes identity. More specifically, in order to understand interdependencies between rural areas and regions there is a need to set the boundaries of rural communities and regions by identity. Furthermore, there is a need to understand interdependencies by interaction as the central feature which develops identities locally and regionally. It is suggested that the boundaries of rural communities are set by the oldest administrative unit in Denmark (a.d. 1100), namely the parish. A rural parish is defined as having open land from the parish centre to the centre in the neighbour parishes. An urban parish is a parish which has no open land to the centre in the neighbour parish. The rural parishes could be classified according to the number of parishes to ’cross’ in order to reach an urban parish.

Furthermore, the working paper suggests that the boundaries of regions are set by dialects. The argument is that language is a strong feature of shared identity within a larger area. As indicators of interaction the paper suggests: Settlement, day tourists, overnight tourists, and working places.