The politics of rural development in the Netherlands

H.J. de Haan, H. Goverde

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter describes how the countryside developed from a policy domain dominated by agricultural interests to an integrated rural policy domain and how spatial planning gradually incorporated the countryside into the wider context of urban development. A short sketch of the Dutch political and administrative system precedes the discussion of spatial and rural planning. The chapter addresses questions concerning the extent to which local and regional authorities can play a role in a policy field that is strongly dominated by central government. This growing attention for rural development problems is accompanied by an intense debate about the future of rural areas. The chapter argues that these discourses do not represent a break with the past, but continue some important themes. It concludes with a description of political changes at the local level, which allows us to answer some questions concerning the potential role of decentralised forms of policy-making in the Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLeadership and Local Power in European Rural Development
EditorsK. Halfacree, I. Kovach, R. Woodward
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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