IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Building social capital in French "Poles d'Excellence Rurale"Â : the "rural excellency"Â as a modus vivendi for rural development


  • Ion Lucian Ceapraz



Our paper emphasizes the role of social capital in French "Poles d'Excellence Rurale (PER). Social capital is considered as highly valuable when considering the development of these particular rural areas. More precisely the French "Poles d'Excellence Rurale"Â are the perfect example of application of norms and networks that enable collective action and thus create social capital. These PER are functioning on traditional activities and social forms of organization which enables them to be competitive on a specific territory. We propose to develop and interrogate the role of two concepts already described as the major functional mechanism of a PER: a) the "rural excellency"Â and the "territorial engineering"Â (Lardon, Pin, 2007) which form one and a single concept related to the spatial diffusion of economic, social and organizational innovation through territorial competition and, b) the concept of 'private-public partnership', a management project developed by several actors able to develop and use various kinds of social networks. In the first case, the "rural excellency"Â characterizes the functional core of a PER and is related to the "diffusing effect"Â of specific comparative advantages of economic and social nature. We mention here the governance as one type of "rural excellency"Â which allows governments to "outsource"Â some of its welfare functions to local rural communities (Bifarello, 2002). Thus this process is supposed to initiate a competition between different rural territories followed by a selection among the "best territorial engineered territories"Â within the process of "territorial engineering"Â . In the second case, the "private-public partnership"Â of a PER implies a bottom-up policy involving local communities and actors with a certain democratic legitimacy and thus supporting partnerships between local actors somehow in opposition with government "top-down"Â policies. Our methodology is based on the report entitled "Facteurs de localisation et gouvernance dans les Poles d'Excellence Rurale"Â developed by CAESAR-AgroSup Dijon, (2009) which emphasize the type of partnership between different actors depending on different "request for proposals"Â and "expected rural spillovers"Â for each type of PER.

Suggested Citation

  • Ion Lucian Ceapraz, 2011. "Building social capital in French "Poles d'Excellence Rurale"Â : the "rural excellency"Â as a modus vivendi for rural development," ERSA conference papers ersa11p302, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p302

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean-Marc Callois & Bertrand Schmitt, 2009. "The role of social capital components on local economic growth: Local cohesion and openness in French rural areas," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 90(3), pages 257-286.
    2. Gashawbeza Bekele & Randall Jackson, 2006. "Theoretical Perspectives on Industry Clusters," Working Papers Working Paper 2006-05, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    3. Maryann Feldman & Johanna Francis & Janet Bercovitz, 2005. "Creating a Cluster While Building a Firm: Entrepreneurs and the Formation of Industrial Clusters," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 129-141.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p302. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.