This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book analyzes general European trends in rurality in the face of power and gender. It focuses on one of the most relevant aspects of society: the dynamics in power relations. The book argues that traditional and new forms of social organization in rural areas can be perceived as elements or constructions based on social capital, which is continually changing and thus creates new forms of participation in rural society. It describes socio-economic and cultural trends and issues in the relationships between gender and rural restructuring, and documents the different conceptual and theoretical approaches used in particular projects. The book illustrates the cultural diversity of rural Europe, and suggests that theories and policies of rural restructuring have to consider the particularity of social contexts and places. It suggests that the Cork Declaration did not announce fundamental new social and political trends.