Community resilience in Spanish depopulated rural areas: A systematic review

Ana Laura López Carlassare, María de las Olas Palma García

Article ID: 3533
Vol 8, Issue 4, 2024

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Research on community resilience has been ongoing for decades. Several studies have been carried out on resilience in different groups and contexts. However, few address the relationship between community resilience and depopulated rural areas. This study aims to dig deeper into this, considering the concrete impact of population decline in Spain. We carried out a systematic review of the most relevant contributions. A search protocol was developed and used to consult ten databases. Different combinations of terms such as ‘community resilience’, ‘rural’, and ‘depopulation’, or related terms, were used. 22 scientific texts were analysed. We obtained a set of publications that demonstrate the heterogeneity of research methods, approaches and analytical processes applied to the study of this relationship. A mostly qualitative approach was observed, either as the main technique or complementary to documentary reviews. The results underscore the complex nature of rural depopulation and related constructs. It emphasizes the specific importance of community resilience in these territories in terms of social capital, endogenous resources, sustainability, economic dynamism, local responsibility and effective governance. The findings identify a scarce mention to social intervention professions, which should have a more important role due to their core values. In the studies reviewed, it appears as an emerging and scientifically relevant area to explore, both for investigation and intervention purposes. The strength of a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the phenomena appears in the discussion as a main potential line of research.


community resilience; rural; depopulation; systematic review; social intervention

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