Volume 5, Issue 2, 2013
Authors: Valerià PAÜL
HOPES FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE’S FUTURE. AN ANALYSIS OF TWO ENDOGENOUS DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCES IN SOUTH-EASTERN GALICIA
The Galician countryside is commonly interpreted as being dominated by a deep socio-economic depression that even the reception of generous European Union rural and regional development funds over the last few decades has not been able to overcome. The aim of this paper is to refine this negative understanding at regional scale by examining specific case-studies at local level through a qualitative study of two self-proclaimed “rural development centres” located in south-eastern Galicia (the province of Ourense). The research is carried out within a theoretical framework on development, based mainly on the core notion of endogenous development. After outlining the regional setting, the selected experiences in the hamlets of Lodoselo (municipality of Sarreaus, district of A Limia) and Arzádegos (municipality of Vilardevós, district of Val de Monterrei) are analysed. The paper concludes by discussing to what extent both initiatives follow endogenous development conception and contribute towards real rural development, thus avoiding the bleak regional picture. The relevance of qualitative readings is stressed in this respect.Key words: Sustainable / rural / regional / endogenous / neo-endogenous development, demographic ageing and depopulation, agriculture and tourism in rural areas, qualitative research methodology, province of Ourense (Galicia, Spain, European Union).