When project-based rural development undermines meaningful activity – A narrative interpretation of project experiences in Finland

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This article addresses projectification as a form of rural development and the criticisms levelled against it at local community level in Finland. It seeks to understand what is behind the negative attitudes of some local actors towards rural development projects and the role played by LEADER LAGs in the projectified rural de-velopment scene. The article assesses the opinions expressed by local, governmental and LAG actors about projects as a form of rural development through the Finnish case study. The data came from the open-ended answers provided by local actors who took part in a nationwide survey of village action (2010) and 12 thematic interviews conducted with LAG managers and governmental actors. The analysis draws on narra-tive organisational analysis as a research method. The criticisms of this project-based form of development relate to frustration with cumbersome rules and excessive bureaucracy, factors that were also highlighted in earlier studies. Our results suggest that there is deep-rooted structural tension between local and govern-mental actors, which comes to the fore in local development projects. The perceived unity of local experi-ence-based development activity is eroded when it comes up against the normative and regulated project process. This structural tension justifies the function of mediating actors like the LAGs. The mediating work of the LAGs is essential in smoothening the relationship between the two worlds apart: the normative and the lived experience of local actors. The LAG strategies act as competencies that bring these two worlds to-gether.
Originalspråkengelska
Titel på värdpublikationWin or Lose in Rural Development : Case Studies from Europe
RedaktörerEugenio Cejudo-García, Francisco Antonio Navarro-Valverde, José Antonio Cañete-Pérez
Antal sidor28
FörlagSpringer
Utgivningsdatumfeb. 2024
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-3-031-48674-6
DOI
StatusPublicerad - feb. 2024
MoE-publikationstypA3 Del av bok eller annan forskningsbok

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