Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 13, No. 2, 2003. Copyright © 2003 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Emerging from a conference on globalization and rural communities held in Edmonton in 1997, Writing Off the West's seventeen chapters (plus a short afterword by prominent rural activist Nettie Wiebe) focus on the decline of rural communities in western Canada and the difficulties some rural people face when adapting to socioeconomic changes caused by globalization and freer international markets.

Most of the volume's twenty-four authors specialize in sociology, geography, political science, and history. Curiously, not one of them has any background in agricultural economics, a discipline that has studied issues pertaining to family farms, rural economies, and globalization intensively throughout the past several decades. Though not invalidating what the authors have to say, this does leave the reader wondering whether something is missing in their arguments and analyses.