Implementing the Rural Development Regulation in South West England: exploring the potential for sustainability in rural land use through policy design

Johnson, Gillian (2004) Implementing the Rural Development Regulation in South West England: exploring the potential for sustainability in rural land use through policy design. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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The first concern of this thesis was to explore the extent to which implementation of the Rural Development Regulation (RDR) in South West England reflected a genuine move towards greater integration and discretion, and thus a more sustainable approach to rural land use in the regions. The second concern focused on the implementing structures and mechanisms of the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) and their capacity to deliver sustainability in rural land use (SiRLU). These concerns highlighted the normative/empirical dilemma of policy formulation and implementation, where the rhetoric of policy is rarely mirrored in practice. Exploration using a policy design framework rooted in a critical methodology revealed a multiple normative/empirical problem where the three main policy documents concerned (the RDR, the ERDP National Plan and the ERDP South West Regional Chapter) each had very different and sometimes conflicting goals for rural development and inadequate means for ensuring commensurable outcomes. The exploration also revealed that the policy design process in this case exacerbated the normative/empirical dichotomy in four main areas: policy goals and objectives; communication; the assumptions of policy makers; and interpretation. The thesis was situated in the context of the evolving European rural development agenda, where factions were competing over different definitions of rural development, and sustainability as a policy issue had receded. Identification of the research problem drew out the differences between the Agenda 2000 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and previous CAP reforms, highlighting the opportunities potentially offered by the RDR for sustainable rural futures, and the risks involved with the interpretation of the Regulation in England by a largely agriculturally-based department in a strongly market-based economy. The thesis concludes that integration and discretion, elements identified as being tenets of SiRLU, will not play a central role in the delivery of rural development through the new RDR proposals for 2007.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rural development, England; England Rural Development Programme (ERDP); Land use; Sustainability
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General) > S589.75 Agriculture and the environment
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Depositing User: Phil Davis
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2016 17:29
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:34

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