The overall aim of the project is to develop a new understanding of demographic and socio-economic change in peripheral regions, going beyond the problematic label of ‘left behind’ places through in-depth investigation of their predicaments and prospects. Taking a cross-national comparative approach, this aim translates into four objectives:

i)    To understand the distinctive circumstances and development pathways of peripheral regions, overcoming the tendency to characterise different kinds of places as ‘left behind’.

ii)   To assess the relationships between the demographic dynamics of peripheral regions and people’s socio-economic, health and political outcomes, covering both population mobility and immobility to address the existing research bias towards migration between regions. 

iii)  To examine the livelihood activities and practices of residents in peripheral regions, remedying the neglect of how ‘ordinary’ people deal with peripherality.

iv)  To identify new policy responses that combine conventional and alternative perspectives, addressing the limitations of prevailing city centric approaches to regional inequality based upon agglomeration and positive spill-overs from larger cities.