1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
    Special Issue: Sparsely populated rural areas
Journal Details
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Innovative Local Policies in Portuguese Low-Density Rural Areas

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 13 (2021) - Issue 2 (June 2021)<br/>Special Issue: Sparsely populated rural areas
Page range: 388 - 409
Received: 17 Oct 2020
Accepted: 10 Feb 2021
Journal Details
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

Nowadays, the issue of rural development has a central place on the agenda of policy-makers, prompting a discussion on the instrumental and procedural options of public policies. This paper seeks to contribute to the reflection on the potentialities and limitations of promoting rural development based on innovative strategies sustained by territorial governance modalities, which entail an active involvement of local agents, especially local authorities. For this, it takes as case studies three public policy experiences led by local authorities within a Portuguese low-density region, with one of the lowest development rates among EU regions. Specifically, it aims to discuss: (a) the effectiveness of adopting innovative policies in the context of low-density rural areas; and (2) the role of territorial governance in the success of those policies. The research followed a document analysis and interviews with local development actors. The analysis suggests that peripheral rural areas are not condemned to human desertification. There is a wide spectrum of opportunities for these areas. They can bring together a strategic view of the future, and an institutional leadership capable of dynamizing an adjusted territorial governance model. This is the challenge currently facing rural development policy.


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