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Innovation in rural development in Puglia, Italy: critical issues and potentialities starting from empirical evidence

Labianca, Marilena and De Rubertis, Stefano and Belliggiano, Angelo and Salento, Angelo (2016): Innovation in rural development in Puglia, Italy: critical issues and potentialities starting from empirical evidence. Studies in Agricultural Economics, 118 (1). pp. 38-46. ISSN 2063-0476

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Since the 1990s, innovation has been recognised as having a key role in the development and competitiveness of European rural territories. In particular, in the LEADER approach, innovation is seen in social and cultural terms rather than as a technological issue, but it has been interpreted by national and, above all, local policies almost exclusively in the latter sense. Especially at local level, often a ‘productivist’ approach emerges that in many cases reveals deeply-rooted conservativeness in the planning and implementation of programmes. Puglia, a NUTS 2 region in southern Italy, acknowledges the key role of innovation in rural development and invested a bigger share of funding in Axes III and IV of Pillar 2 of the Common Agricultural Policy in the 2007-2013 programming cycle than did the other Italian regions. This study examines the regional case in two interconnected stages to identify firstly the interpretation of innovation from the programmatic and operative points of view, and secondly, the needs and critical issues in terms of innovation in governance on the local scale through interviews with stakeholders from a representative LAG named ‘Terra dei Messapi’. It reveals not only a marked disparity in the way innovation was interpreted, but also the limitations and critical issues in planning and in regional and local governance, which prove unable to embrace innovation affecting social and institutional processes and, more generally, processes related to the context.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: LEADER approach, governance, less developed region
Depositing User: Csaba Menyhárt
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2017 08:12
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 09:22

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