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Based on the EU-funded CORASON research project, this volume brings together and compares studies into rural and sustainable development processes in 12 European countries. In doing so, it identifies key trends and reveals the changing nature of development processes on the way towards a knowledge society. The book examines the differences between the preconditions and contexts relevant to rural development strategies and those relevant to sustainable development strategies. It explores whether the concept, goals and nature of rural development is better understood and adopted by rural actors than those of sustainable development. Finally by focusing on the ideas and practices of sustainable resource management- a component in both rural and sustainable development objectives- it links with knowledge used by actors involved in rural development.