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Institutional Compatibility Analysis for Resource Use Sustainability (ICARUS)
Start date: 01 Apr 2009, End date: 31 Mar 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The Institutional Compatibility Analysis for Resource Use Sustainability (ICARUS) project aims at filling the lack of attention which has been given in agricultural economic literature to institutional causes of unsustainable land use (Oskam, Feng, 2008). This can be done by introducing, both at a conceptual and an empirical level, a formalised methodology to determine how incompatibility between policy instruments (such as rural development measures) and pre-existing institutional settings could influence the sustainability of natural resource use in different European rural contexts. More specifically in this project we would like to focus our attention on the influence of institutional dynamics (such as the effect of introduction of new rural development measures in the working institutional settings of a local context) on land use decision of family-farms, which are, at the moment, the most relevant organisational forms of land management in the European rural areas. Under the common definition of family farms, in fact, it is possible to find all over the European Union Member States a range of different organisational modes or governance structures, which goes from single owner to private limited company in which the family holds all the shares (Slangen et al., 2008). Each organisational form is characterised by a specific decision-making setting but, as a common background, the decisions about resource use are mainly influenced by factors related on the family needs and context relationships. Multiple and sustainable land use provided by a range of multiple farm types is a key-element which characterises the European rurality, and a relevant part of it is constituted by “family farming” land use settings. This is the basic idea around which this project has been pivoted. To achieve this objective we need, on one hand, to understand better the fundamental processes of institutional formation, together with the compatibility between the formal and informal rule"
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