Rural Future Networks
Start date: Feb 1, 2008,
End date: Apr 30, 2011
As the objectives of the CAP shift from an agricultural-centred approach to wider rural development, the idea of multifunctionality of rural areas comes into play. This in turn brings the CAP into closer association with a wide range of sectoral policy regimes: regional policy, spatial planning, environmental management; social, energy policy, and others. Sectoral regimes interact in complex ways, and with a determining effect on the sustainable development of rural areas. RUFUS will provide policy makers and stakeholders with better theoretical and practical understandings of how CAP measures interact with other forms of public intervention in rural development; and how policy regimes can be combined to ensure more sustainable development. RUFUS will investigate how rural development policy can be targeted at the specific endogenous potential of rural regions to encourage multiple functionality which goes beyond physical landscape potentials to include social and economic activities and opportunities. An interdisciplinary methodology will build into the analysis a qualitative analysis of the social dimension and endogenous potentials, alongside economic and ecological variables. RUFUS will establish a transdisciplinary conceptual framework on policy integration and rural multifunctionality. It will create a rural typology incorporating social aspects and endogenous potentials. Scenarios of rural futures - the trajectory of policy interaction processes - will be generated. These quantitative findings will be ‘tested’ against the reality of stakeholder experiences of regional development dynamics through case studies using visualisation techniques. The relevance of the findings for other regions will be examined with the help of an expert panel. Special emphasis is given to combining findings with other research, setting them in the context of political goals and policy problems, and transposing them into practical and meaningful recommendations for action.
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