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Innovative Regional Development Theories and Policies for Food and Nutrition Security


  • Stefano Marta

    () (DISCE, Università Cattolica)


The pressing nature of the issue of hunger and food insecurity, the first United Nations Millennium Development Goal, the fact that this MDG is far to be achieved by 2015 and the growing consensus around the inadequacy and ineffectiveness of the traditional approaches to tackle it, suggest that new approaches to food and nutrition security (FNS) policies and strategies should be explored, developed and implemented. In particular, the inadequacy of past policies suggests that there is a need to shift from one-size-fits-all, entirely top-down and sectoral-based approaches to integrated, context-specific and place-based approaches which would allow to capture and include the complexity of development, the importance of territorial endogenous development potential, the key role of both national and sub-national actors and stakeholders through the principle of multi-level governance in the policy-making process. The place-based approach to development policies, which the OECD defines as the new regional development paradigm, is built and developed on the basis of these key principles and concepts. This paper tries to explore and analyze the extent to which a place-based approach, which so far has been applied and implemented mainly in developed countries and in few cases in developing countries (eg. Cambodia) to address more generally the issue of development, could represent an effective and beneficial policy approach to tackle the issue of food insecurity. This research question is addressed both through a comprehensive literature review on food and nutrition security and on the innovative regional development approaches and paradigms, and by interviewing some of the main experts in terms of food security, place-based/territorial approach and its critique, namely the spatially-blind approach. The result of the research is a conceptual and policy framework for the place-based approach to food and nutrition security, which highlights the rationale, potential effectiveness and key concepts characterizing this innovative approach and tries to identify its potential limitations and ways to strengthen it. It is finally suggested that this territorial dimension should be more reflected in food and nutrition security policies and strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Marta, 2013. "Innovative Regional Development Theories and Policies for Food and Nutrition Security," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises1392, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie2:dises1392

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Food and Nutrition Security; Place-Based Approach; Regional Development Policies;

    JEL classification:

    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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