Accounts of planning and development in Northern Ireland tend to be dominated by Belfast as a case study. Less profile in published work exists for the smaller towns, villages and countryside that have moved during the 1990s to become a central concern of public policy. Rural affairs now command widespread popular interest, not least because of the many initiatives that have been brought forward in partnership with rural people. One such initiative is the Northern Ireland Regional Development Strategy, adopted by Members of the Legislative Assembly in late 2001. This offers a consensus-driven framework to guide planning and development activities over the next twenty-five years and is at pains to highlight the inclusion of rural society, comprising its economies and communities, in this vision of the future. In Rural Planning and Development in Northern Ireland, the contributors unravel the personalities of, contemporary challenges for, and policy responses to rurality. The implications of this anlaysis are set against the promises and expectations of the Strategy and raise the provocative conclusion that is perceived transformational capacity may well be overstated. Rethinking rural planning and development in Northern Ireland remains an enduring quest.