Who we are Search Resources Submit a resource Links to sites Discussion Board Contact Us Return to Home
Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Issues of Integration, Participation and Empowerment in Rural Development: The Case of LEADER in the Republic of Ireland

Author: Storey, David
Author Background:
Date July 1999
Type Journal
Journal Title: Journal-of-Rural-Studies
Volume/Pages 151(3) 307-315
Subject Matter Community Development; International; Ireland
Abstract There is increasing emphasis in the European Union on devising innovative development strategies for rural areas. Considerable stress is laid on integration, participation, & empowerment. Integration implies a need for cross-sectoral harmonization of developmental objectives as well as increased coordination between agencies involved in the developmental process. Participation implies consultation with local rural dwellers in the development process. Empowerment suggests a greater degree of influence being wielded by local residents &, thus, some shift in the power balance between center & periphery & between professionals & amateurs. In practice, this has resulted in a plethora of initiatives for a more locally attuned, bottom-up approach to rural development. This approach is seen as a more appropriate mechanism than traditional top-down strategies. Evidence from ongoing research on LEADER II in Ireland suggests that a number of issues with regard to current initiatives need to be addressed. Power relationships at both national & local levels need to be explored. It might be more valid to view current developments in terms of a process of incorporation, rather than a move to a bottom-up participatory model. 1 Figure, 33 References. Adapted from the source document