Directions in rural development policy - Lessons from both sides of the Atlantic

David Blandford, Berkeley Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A workshop comparing rural development policies in Europe and the US found differences in the social values that shape them. These include different attachments to place, concerns with lagging regions, and interests in the assessment of public interventions. There is also a difference in coverage. In the EU environmental and landscape issues form part of the CAP's Rural Development Pillar, using agriculture as an instrument, whereas in the US these are handled by other policies, some of which can claim deeper historical roots. In the context of rural development policy, the EU attaches intrinsic value to the environment, while in the US the focus is more on economic spin-offs from environmental quality. There are also differences in governance; a complete US view requires taking in Federal, State and local initiatives whereas in the EU a more organised framework is apparent. Nevertheless, when policy is viewed from a bottom-up perspective many common features are found. Improving human and social capital and infrastructure are key factors to stimulating economic development on both sides of the Atlantic, though only some of these drivers form part of the CAP's Pillar II. While in the EU the role of rural development is set to expand, this is far less certain in the US where the emphasis on agricultural support is likely to continue to dominate the political agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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