The welfare situation in fragile rural areas has ambivalent features. In the face of the dominant dynamic determined by the spiral of marginality, where the downsizing of welfare is at the same time a consequence and cause of depopulation, there are signs of new ways of organizing services, which put the community at the center. The article reflects on this new emerging regime, within a more general trend of recalibrating welfare systems according to the principles of personalization and localization. It highlights how this double shift opens up new possibilities for fragile rural areas, but at the same time it can exacerbate social and territorial inequalities, taking into account the strong variability of local contexts in terms of resources and capabilities.
Keywords: Rural areas, marginality, welfare, uneven development, community, depopulation