The Research Networks – A Necessity for Rural Area Development
It should be emphasized that the network concept has become widely used in the socio-economic studies of the economic life. Following the debates around research development, the networks may also have particular utility in making understandable the different forms of rural development. This paper assesses whether networks provide a new paradigm of rural development. It seeks to capture a series of differing perspectives on economic networks — including political economy, actor-network theory and theories of innovation, learning and knowledge transfer — and attempts to show how these perspectives might be applied to different types of rural areas. It is argued that rural development strategies must take heed of research network forms and that rural policy should be recast in network terms.
rural development, rural research networks, economic competitiveness, diversification
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