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Integration and Participation in Rural Development: the Case of Ireland

By David Storey

Abstract

Rural development initiatives in recent years, in Ireland and elsewhere in western Europe, have placed great emphasis on ideas of integration, participation and empowerment. As a consequence, at both national and European Union levels, there have been a range of territorially-based programmes which, to a greater or lesser extent, espouse the idea of a more locally attuned ‘bottom-up’ approach to rural development. This approach is seen as a more appropriate mechanism than traditional 'top-down' strategies. While current strategies might be seen as offering new possibilities for those living in rural areas, this paper presents some evidence from on-going research in Ireland suggesting that there are a number of issues which need to be teased out. Two key themes are highlighted. Firstly, there are a number of what can be seen as ‘technical’ considerations centring on the mechanics of co-ordination and integration. Secondly, there are issues pertaining to power relationships at both national and local levels which need to be explored

Topics: G1, GF
Publisher: UCW
Year: 1999
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.eprints.org:140

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