Local Responses to the Structural Changes of National Development Policy in Hungarian Rural Regions

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Perger, Éva
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supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund. The objective of the research is to find out how local actors react to the changing development policy context, how it shapes the local practices of local agents, and how such interactions influence local society and the development of rural micro-regions. The main pillars of the study are subject-oriented case-studies in two rural microregions. The pilot regions are very similar in terms of geographical location, natural resources, population, territory, settlement structure and economic social status, yet they have followed a very different development track, mainly due to the different local reactions to the changing state development policy. Our research demonstrates that the key factor of local success is multi-level (settlement, micro-region) cooperation between various (public, private and civil) local stakeholders. The crucial demand for a main facilitator of local cooperation could be satisfied by the local government, provided that it is able to adapt to the frequent changes leading to the emergence of new social networks. No evidence is found to indicate the existence of a ‘project class’ within the local rural societies assuming an intermediary role between decision makers and beneficiaries. The traditional structures of power (based on party- and economic hierarchy) seem to survive. Although project-based implementation has become predominant in development policy, the main arena of the ‘struggle’ to obtain development resources is still the political one.
fejlesztési politika , vidékfejlesztés - Magyarország , vidékfejlesztés - Magyarország , társadalmi tőke , önkormányzatiság - Magyarország
Eastern European Countryside 22: pp. 69-83. (2016)