Governance, Rural Development and Farmers’ Participation in Irish Local Food Movements



As exponents of the “post-industrial” and “post-productivist” economy, it is accepted that many of the economic activities in line with the contemporary rural development agenda (as supported by the EU LEADER programme, for example) do not have a mainstream agriculture “tag”. It is envisaged that the governance approach to rural development, by providing a mechanism for the participation of a variety of local sectoral stakeholders, gives rise to an increased capacity to appraise and tap into nuanced local development resources. Particular forms of economic activity, which concentrate to a large extent on high value-added food production, tourism activities and the valorisation of natural resources have emerged in line with the contemporary rural development agenda and arguably represent a new status quo in the rural economy. In the bureaucratic and academic literatures, the “newness” of what is described as the knowledge-based culture economy continues to be emphasised, as if in reflection of the persisting challenges that arise in the transition from “labour and material value to design value”. This paper presents an Irish case-study to explore the socio-cultural factors that frame “conventional” farmers’ engagement in “alternative” local food movements, which have gained prominence within the context of the contemporary rural development agenda.


Rural Development Local Food Cultural Capital Farm Household Rural Economy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre (RERC)Athenry Mellow’s Campus, Athenry, Co.GalwayIreland

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