Governance at the Heart of Rural Development: An Exploratory Investigation of Rural Regional Governance Initiatives in Newfoundland and Ireland

Lay Summary 

What is at the heart of regional development in rural communities? Rural, remote, and coastal communities throughout Canada and internationally are presented with the opportunities and challenges of initiating and maintaining sustainable development, often in the face of declining resources and traditional economies. These communities and the regions within which they are located are hosts of social, cultural and economic transformation associated with a de-emphasis on primary resource production in favour of more diversified economic activities.

ln response to the dynamics outlined by forces such as post-productivism and competitiveness, the current literature increasingly advocates place-based rather than sectoral approaches to policy and planning. Communities are seeking new forms of governance to address challenges and opportunities associated with changing social, economic, and environmental dynamics. This poster explores the concept of governance as it relates to regional development of rural and northern communities. Governance emerged from criticisms of large central governments inabilities to accommodate the preferences of diverse communities and regions. The poster highlights the theoretical evolutions of governance and its application to rural and regional development.

This theoretical narrative is illustrated by two case studies of rural governance: the Northern Peninsula Regional Collaboration Pilot initiative (Newfoundland) and the South Kerry Development Partnership (Ireland). Based on the theoretical understanding of collaborative governance two initiatives, the Northern Peninsula Regional Collaboration Pilot Initiative in Newfoundland and the South Kerry Development Partnership in Ireland, are examined as potential case studies of collaborative governance. This presentation outlines the two initiatives and concludes both are appropriate case studies of collaborative governance. An enhanced understanding of collaborative governance in these two settings will assist in assessing governance’s relationship to regional development.

North Atlantic Forum 2011: Culture Place and Identity at the Heart of Regional Development

Social Sciences And Humanities Research Council Of Canada, Leslie Harris Centre Of Regional Policy And Development, Institute Of Social And Economic Research, Ireland Canada University Foundation
St. John's
Newfoundland and Labrador
Regional Development
Regional Policy
Social Sciences
Industry Sectors 
Scientific Research and Development Services
Public Administration
Start date 
1 Jan 2011