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Rural Development Group Politics: A Hidden Cost?


  • Ruth McAreavey


summary I challenge the popular notion of European rural development group dynamics and argue for a better understanding of the role of micro-politics as a means of enhancing the performance of these groups. The views are research based and have relevance to the broader rural development and regeneration sector. Micro-politics involves knowledge, power, trust, perceptions, understanding, social networks, values and traits that arise as a result of individuals interacting within a group whilst working on a shared goal, such as rural development. The monetary and time costs to a community of failing to address micro-politics and nurture positive group relations are considerable. These include time spent in unproductive meetings and poorly prioritized-and ultimately unsuccessful-funding applications as a result of failure to agree priorities. Successful groups rely on individuals interacting in a way that achieves a greater social good. Mutual trust amongst the actors lies at the heart of effective group activity. Effective management of micro-politics requires steps to nurture a culture of mutual trust to ensure that rural development actors co-operate rather than play destructive games with one another. A case study example of a relatively straightforward approach illustrates how this might be done in practice. Copyright The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruth McAreavey, 2007. "Rural Development Group Politics: A Hidden Cost?," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 6(1), pages 38-43, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:6:y:2007:i:1:p:38-43

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Muhammad, Andrew & Seale, James L. & Meade, Birgit Gisela Saager & Regmi, Anita, 2011. "International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns: An Update Using 2005 International Comparison Program Data," Technical Bulletins 184306, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Silvia Coderoni & Laura Valli & Maurizio Canavari, 2015. "Climate Change Mitigation Options in the Italian Livestock Sector," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 14(1), pages 17-24, April.
    3. Rafael Oliveira Silva & Luis Gustavo Barioni & Dominic Moran, 2015. "Greenhouse Gas Mitigation through Sustainable Intensification of Livestock Production in the Brazilian Cerrado," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 14(1), pages 28-34, April.
    4. Hugo Valin & Ronald D. Sands & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe & Gerald C. Nelson & Helal Ahammad & Elodie Blanc & Benjamin Bodirsky & Shinichiro Fujimori & Tomoko Hasegawa & Petr Havlik & Edwina Heyhoe, 2014. "The future of food demand: understanding differences in global economic models," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 51-67, January.
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