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Despite an EU-wide commitment to rural development, research has rarely focused on the lives of young people in rural areas, their experiences in education and employment, their perceptions of policies relevant to them, and their possibilities of participation. Based on a two-year European research project on policies and young people in rural development, this edited volume examines these issues and considers young people's experiences of rural life in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Scotland. The volume is organized thematically with each chapter addressing a specific topic in one or more countries. These topics comprise: the attractiveness of rural areas to young people; the impact of programmes under the European Employment Guidelines; rural youth in local community development and partnerships; rural development programmes and their impact on youth integration; the role of social networks; and the transition from education to employment. A number of implications for policy and practice are drawn out in conclusion. This book will be of interest to anyone concerned with the future of rural areas and with those who live in the European countryside.