New book examines transition and change in resource-dependent communities

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Dr. Greg Halseth and Laura Reyser

A new book edited by UNBC Geography Professor Dr. Greg Halseth describes the multi-faceted process of transition and change in resource-dependent rural and small town regions since the end of the Second World War.

Titled Transformation of Resource Towns and Peripheries: Political Economy Perspectives, the book incorporates international case studies from Australia, Canada, Finland, and New Zealand. It highlights similarities and differences in patterns and practices in each country.

Chapters explore three main themes: how corporate ties and trade linkages are changing and impacting rural communities and regions; how resource industry employment is changing in these small communities; and how local community capacity and leadership are working to mitigate challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.

“As many rural and small town places work through processes of change, it is important to recognize that they are responding to common pressures and can learn much from one another about how to successfully navigate transition,” said Halseth, who is also a Canada Research Chair in Rural and Small Town Studies.

“The context of today is unlike the context of 50 years ago when many resource-dependent places established their economic and community foundations. By sharing the stories from four countries, this book highlights the new and innovative ways by which they must respond.”

Most developed economies, including single-industry and resource-dependent rural or small town regions, are transforming rapidly as a result of social, political, and economic change. This international collaboration will be useful for understanding these transitions.

The book will appeal to policy makers and local and regional development practitioners. It will also be of interest to students of regional studies, geography, and rural and industrial sociology.
Halseth along with Laura Ryser, the Research Manager with the Rural and Small Town Studies program and Sean Markey from Simon Fraser University, collaborated on writing three chapters in the book.

They include: Chapter 3 of the book titled British Columbia – Localization AND globalization: Industrial reorganization in Mackenzie, British Columbia; Chapter 7 titled Contentious flexibility: Job losses in labour restructuring in Mackenzie, BC; and Chapter 11 titled Building for the future: Community responses to economic restructuring in Mackenzie, BC.

Above: UNBC Geography Professor Dr. Greg Halseth and Rural and Small Town Studies program Research Manager Laura Ryser with their new book.