Revisiting the dimensions of rural resilience : the CoVid-19 pandemic

McIntyre, Stuart and Roy, Graeme (2023) Revisiting the dimensions of rural resilience : the CoVid-19 pandemic. Journal of Rural Studies, 103. 103107. ISSN 0743-0167 (

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Understanding the factors that improve the resilience of rural communities is an important area of academic research and focus for policymakers. In this context, the COVID-19 pandemic provides an important opportunity to study the dynamics of different aspects of rural resilience in a crisis period. In this paper, we adopt a mixed methods approach to explore three issues in the context of a rural community – the West Highlands of Scotland. We frame our discussion through the lens of economic, social and environmental resilience. We 1) examine the role of businesses in supporting rural resilience within a crisis period; 2) evidence tensions that emerge across different components of rural resilience; and 3) explore, in turn, the importance of the economic, social and environmental rural context for the resilience of rural businesses. We find support that businesses can be key to supporting rural resilience, but that the resilience of rural communities is also essential to the resilience of businesses. We evidence several tensions that emerge between economic, social and environmental dimensions of resilience as it relates to business activity in rural communities. Our findings have important implications for policy with the conclusion that during times of crisis local, and community-based, solutions are crucial as is local leadership capacity.