| By J. Berdegué, T. Rosada, and A. Bebbington | Published in International Development: Ideas, Experience and Prospects, pp. 463-478. Edited by B. Currie-Alder, R. Kanbur, D. Malone, and R. Medhora. Oxford: Oxford University Press. |

Abstract: This chapter discusses the rural transformation, a process of comprehensive societal change whereby rural societies diversify their economies and reduce their reliance on agriculture; become dependent on distant places to trade and to acquire goods, services, and ideas; move from dispersed villages to towns and small and medium cities; and become culturally more similar to large urban agglomerations. The rural transformation is the result, first of all, of the action of global drivers, such as the diversification of rural economies away from agriculture, the globalization of agrifood systems, and the urbanization of rural regions. While global forces drive this transformation, they are mediated by localized social structures, institutional frameworks, and local societies with different levels of human agency. The interplay of global and local factors explains why the rural transformation between and within different countries has different outcomes in terms of economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.