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Exploring the 'New Rural Paradigm' in Europe: eco-economic strategies as a counterforce to the global competitiveness agenda

Horlings, Lummina G. and Marsden, Terry K. ORCID: 2014. Exploring the 'New Rural Paradigm' in Europe: eco-economic strategies as a counterforce to the global competitiveness agenda. European Urban and Regional Studies 21 (1) , pp. 4-20. 10.1177/0969776412441934

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Rural regions in Europe are facing diverging pathways of development. On the one hand, the influence of urbanisation and the intensification and continued up-scaling of agriculture make it more difficult for many regions to remain distinctive and increase sustainability. Places, as well as goods and services, have become increasingly interchangeable. For many regions an obvious choice is to compete with other regions for global mobile capital and labour. On the other hand, and as a counterforce to these global logics, new strategies, which are more place-based, are being developed, such as the construction of identities or images around new agricultural goods and services. These strategies can be seen in the context of the ‘New Rural Paradigm’ for European rural regions. In the search for new trajectories for sustainable development, different models can be identified: the bio-economy paradigm and the eco-economy. Each model has its own sustainability claim and can be analysed in the context of the overarching development theory of ecological modernisation. The central question in this article is what types of strategies and pathways for eco-economic development can be witnessed in rural regions in Europe? The empirical analysis is based on 62 European cases. Three key eco-economic strategies that show a shift from an agricultural-based development to a more integrative rural and regionally based development are identified. The article concludes with some consistent parameters for understanding the dynamic complexity of rural regional development.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Branding; eco-economy; new rural paradigm; regional development; regional strategies; rural development; sustainability
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 0969-7764
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:14

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