Making a living: Grassroots development initiatives, natural resource management and institutional support in Galicia, Spain

Open access

Making a living: Grassroots development initiatives, natural resource management and institutional support in Galicia, Spain

European policy increasingly supports territorially based rural development in which local actors play a decisive role in realising economically, socially and ecologically responsible development. This paper makes use of four case-studies, from a largely depopulated mountainous area in Galicia, Spain, where local people strive to combine the creation of new businesses with the revitalisation of the natural resource base. The paper, in analysing local knowledge infrastructure and its interface with policy, reveals the dominant role of grassroots development initiatives in effecting regional learning and capacity building. Further it is acknowledged that in Galicia progress is brokered in practice by individual stakeholders who manage structural constraints, cross boundaries and construct new cross-cutting, bridging networks. It is also apparent that these niche-actors constitute a largely untapped reservoir of knowledge brokers that could be used much more effectively if more direct cooperation with policymakers and the existing knowledge infrastructure could be achieved.

Altieri, M. A. (1999). Agroecología: Bases científicas para una agricultura sustentable. Montevideo: Nordan-Comunidada.

Altieri, M. A. (1995). Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture, 2nd ed. Boulder: Westview Press.

Berger, P. & Luckmann, T. (1966). The social construction of reality. A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. London: The Penguin Press.

Bouhier A. (1979). La Galice. Essay geographique d'annalyse et d'interpretation d'un vieux complex agraire. La Roche-sur-Yon: Imprimerie Yonnaise.

Bruckmeier, K. & Tovey, H. (2008). Knowledge in sustainable rural development. From forms of knowledge to knowledge process. Sociologia Ruralis 48(3), 313-329. Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2008.00466.x.

Daly, H. E. (1990). Toward some operational principles of sustainable development. Ecological economics 2(1), 1-6. Doi: 10.1016/0921-8009(90)90010-R.

Dominguez Garcia, M. D. (2007). The way you do, it matters. PhD Thesis. Wageningen: Wageningen University.

Domínguez García, M. D., Swagemakers, P., Simón Fernández, X. & Wiskerke J. S. C. (forthcoming). Constituting connections and rural revitalization in ‘the Comarca de Verín’, Galicia (Spain). In McDonagh, J. Nienaber, B. & Woods, M. (eds) Globalization and Europe's Rural Regions. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Eernstman, N. & Wals, A. E. J. (2009). Interfacing knowledge systems. Introducing certified organic agriculture in a tribal society. NJAS 56(4), 375-390. Doi: 10.1016/S1573-5214(09)80005-5.

Geels, F. W. & Schot, J. (2007). Typology of sociotechnical transition pathways. Research policy 36(3), 399-417. Doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2007.01.003.

Haberl, H., Fischer-Kowalski, M., Krausmann, F., Martinez-Alier, J. & Winiwarter, V. (2011). A socio-metabolic transition towards sustainability? Challenges for another Great Transformation. Sustainable development 19(1), 1-14. Doi: 10.1002/sd.410.

Holling, C. S. (2001). Understanding the complexity of economic, ecological, and social systems. Ecosystems 4(5), 390-405. Doi: 10.1007/s10021-001-0101-5.

Holloway, L., Kneafsey, M., Venn, L., Cox, R., Dowler E. & Tuomainen H. (2007). Possible food economies: A methodological framework for exploring food production-consumption relationships. Sociologia Ruralis 47(1), 1-19. Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2007.00427.x.

Hoogma, R. (2000). Exploiting technological niches. Strategies for experimental introduction of electric vehicles. PhD. thesis. Enschede: Twente University Press.

Hoogma R., Kemp, R., Schot, J. & Truffer, B. (2002). Experimenting for sustainable transport. The approach of strategic niche management. London/New York: Spon Press.

IGE 2010. Fichas comarcais. Instituto Galego de Estatística: www.ige.eu

INE Various years a. Padrón Municipal. Instituto Nacional de Estadística: www.ine.es

INE Various years b. Movimiento natural de la poboación. Instituto Nacional de Estadística: www.ine.es

Kemp, R., Schot, J. & Hoogma, R. (1998). Regime shifts through processes of niche formation. The approach of strategic niche management. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management 10(2), 175-196. Doi: 10.1080/09537329808524310.

Long, N. (2001). Development sociology. Actor perspectives. London: Routledge.

Long, N. (1999). The multiple optic of interface analysis. UNESCO background paper on Interface Analysis.

Marsden, T. (2003). The condition of rural sustainability. Assen: Van Gorcum.

Marsden, T. & Smith, E. (2005). Ecological entrepreneurship. Sustainable development in local communities through quality food production and local branding. Geoforum 36(4), 440-451. Doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2004.07.008.

Morgan, K. (1997). The learning region: institutions, innovation and regional renewal. Regional Studies 31(5), 491-503. Doi: 10.1080/00343409750132289.

Murphey, J. 2000. Ecological Modernisation. Geoforum 31(1), 1-8. Doi: 10.1016/S0016-7185(99)00039-1.

Naredo, J. M. (1996). Sobre el origen, el uso y contenido del término ‘sostenible’. Documentación Social 102, 129-147.

Ostrom, E. (2000). Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 14(3), 137-158. Doi: 10.1257/jep.14.3.137.

Ploeg, J. D. van der (2008). The new peasantries. Struggles for autonomy and sustainability in an era of empire and globalisation. London: Earth Scan.

Ploeg, J. D. van der (2003). The virtual farmer. Assen: Van Gorcum.

Rammel, C., Stagl, S. & Wilfing, H. (2007). Managing complex adaptive systems - A coevolutionary perspective on natural resource management. Ecological economics 63(1), 9-21. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.12.014.

Sevilla Guzmán, E. & Martínez Alier, J. (2006). New rural social movements and agroecology. In Cloke, P., Marsden, T. & Mooney, P. H. (eds), Handbook of Rural Studies (pp. 472-483). London: Sage.

Simón Fernández, X., (1995). Economía ecológica, agroecología y desarrollo rural sostenible. Agricultura y Sociedad 77, 199-236.

Soto, D. (2006). Historia dunha Agricultura Sustentábel. Transformacións productivas na agricultura galega contemporánea. Xunta de Galicia, Consellería de Medio Rural. Colección EIDOS, n. 4.

Stagl, S. (2007). Theoretical foundations of learning processes for sustainable development. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 14(1), 52-62. Doi: 10.1080/13504500709469707.

Swagemakers, P. & Wiskerke J. S. C. (2011). Revitalizing ecological capital. Geografisk Tidsskrift - Danish Journal of Geography 111(2), 149-167.

Swagemakers, P., Domínguez García, M. D., Simón Fernández, X., & Wiskerke, J. S. C. (2012) forthcoming. Unfolding farm practices: Working towards sustainable food production in the Netherlands and Spain. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development.

United Nations (2010). A/HRC/16/49. Annual report submitted to the Human Rights Council by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter.

Verschuren, P. & Doodewaard, H. (1999). Designing a research project. Utrecht: Lemma.

Wellbrock, W., Roep, D., Wiskerke J. S. C. (2012). An integrated perspective on rural regional learning. European Countryside 4(1), 299-314. DOI: 10.2478/v10091-012-0010-y.

Whatmore, S. (1994). Farm household strategies and styles of farming. Assessing the utility of farm typologies. In van der Ploeg, J. D. & Long, E., (eds), Born from within. Practices and perspectives of endogenous rural development (pp. 31-37). Assen: Van Gorcum.

Wiskerke, J. S. C. (2009). On places lost and places regained: Reflections on the alternative food geography and sustainable regional development. International Planning Studies 14(4), 369-387. Doi: 10.1080/13563471003642803.

Wiskerke, J. S. C. (2007). Robust regions: Dynamics, coherence and diversity in the metropolitan landscape. Inaugural lecture. Wageningen University.

Yin, R. K. (1984). Case study research: design and methods. London: Sage.

Zijderveld, A. C. (2000). The institutional imperative: the interface of institutions and networks. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

European Countryside

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno

Journal Information


CiteScore 2017: 0.78

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.265
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.607

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 140 140 27
PDF Downloads 32 32 9