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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Die hard: On the persistence of Swedish upland farming

Dubois, Alexandre; Carson, Dean B.


Using an inductive quantitative approach, this article examines empirically the main characteristics of upland farming in the northern periphery of Sweden. This approach allows us to stepwise 'reconstruct' upland farming in its north Swedish manifestation. The data features farm-level and aggregated data from four municipalities stretching from the Bothnian Golf to the Norwegian border. The combination of GIS and advanced statistical analysis (clustering and regression) provides a robust evidence-base characterising upland farming at the nexus of multiple dimensions: territoriality (e.g. remote location, harsh climate, scattered settlement structure), style (e.g. labour extensive, small-scale, mixed fanning) and livelihood (e.g. plurlactive, diversification, subsidy dependent). The article emphasizes the potentially central role of upland farming in bringing into coherent policy initiatives promoting sustainable community development in the periphery. The study also looks ahead and urges scholars to adopt more systematically mixed methods in future upland farming studies in order to render the complexity of this socio-spatial phenomenon.


Upland farming; Northern periphery; Territoriality; Rural policy

Published in

Journal of Rural Studies
2019, Volume: 69, pages: 41-52

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG2 Zero hunger
    SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

    Publication identifier


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