Peripheralisation: The Missing Link in Dealing with Demographic Change?


  • Tim Leibert Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Germany
  • Sophie Golinski Ministry of Regional Development and Transport Saxony-Anhalt, Germany



Peripheralisation, Demographic change, Adaptation strategies, Public services, East Germany


Demographic change is an uneven spatial process in Germany. Depopulation and ageing have become pressing issues in most rural regions. In connection with low population densities and the financial difficulties of municipalities and service providers in rural regions, these demographic trends have led to a discussion about the future provision of services of general interest and – more broadly – the postulate of equal living conditions which was for a long time the basic principle of spatial development in Germany. In this paper, we argue that the peripheralisation approach is a helpful tool to better understand how interaction of out-migration, dependence, disconnection and stigmatisation shape the future of rural regions. We also discuss the impact of peripheralisation on the development and implementation of adaptation strategies. Based on the 3R-model (retrenchment, repositioning, reorganisation), we argue that adaptation strategies can reinforce (retrenchment) peripheralisation processes, but also serve as groundwork for the formulation of policies aiming at de-peripheralisation.




How to Cite

Leibert, T. and Golinski, S. 2017. Peripheralisation: The Missing Link in Dealing with Demographic Change?. Comparative Population Studies. 41, 3-4 (Mar. 2017). DOI: