The Distinctiveness of Rural Development Practices in North West Europe

R.E. van Broekhuizen, B. Soldaat, H.A. Oostindië, J.D. van der Ploeg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Comparing rural development with agricultural modernisation, there are fundamental differences. Industrial development of agriculture more and more segregates agriculture from other functions and is based on an ‘individualised transaction model’ in which the world consists of loose particles that are linked by markets (atomistic world view). Conversely rural development can be perceived as a form of re-socialisation of agriculture and is based on a ‘relational cooperation model’ in which new relations characterise business development.

This chapter is a second level type of analysis of many research findings of these common traits or features and gives a picture of the distinctiveness of rural development practices. Nine different features that characterize rural development practices are described and discussed: (1) novelty production, (2) relative autonomy, (3) synergy, (4) clashes and competing claims, (5) coalitions and new relations; the construction of rural webs, (6) common pool resources, (7) new division of labour, (8) the distinctive different impact and (9) resilience. The more these features are present and intertwined, the better the specific practice can face and withstand adverse conditions. These features and the associated practices have to be understood as part of a wider transitional process that might co-evolve with or run counter to competing transitional processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConstructing a new Framework for Rural Development
EditorsP. Milone, F. Ventura, Y. Jingzhong
Place of PublicationBingley, United Kingdom
PublisherEmerald Groep
ISBN (Print)9781784416225, 9781784416218
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

Name Research in Rural Sociology and Development


  • Autonomy
  • Local practices
  • Novelty
  • Regional development
  • Rural actors
  • Rural development


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