Bringing Municipalities into Rural Community and Economic Development: Cases from Atlantic Canada




Krawchenko, Tamara

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Journal of Rural and Community Development


In rural development literature, subsidiarity and the merits of local community participation are increasingly extolled. Targeted, nationally-derived sectoral (e.g., agricultural) policies and subsidies are increasingly rejected for a more inclusive, place-based, partnership-driven, community-led, and investment-oriented approach to rural development. This shift can be seen across OECD countries and has been lauded by the organization as ‘a new paradigm for rural development.’ As such, rural development is conceptualized as a process that emanates from the local level, involving a variety of stakeholders in decision making, such that policy development is viewed as more participatory, reflective of and responsive to community needs. Given this, what role (and capacity) might there be for municipalities to meaningfully engage in rural development activities? This paper examines this question through a case study of two rural Atlantic Canadian communities. In doing so, it finds that these two rural municipalities are institutionally constrained from engaging in rural development initiatives and that provincial and federal funders are focused on economic, rather than community, development. It is argued that municipal capacity needs to be greatly enhanced through institutionalized mechanisms in order for them to become meaningful partners in the development process.



Atlantic Canada, rural municipalities, new regionalism, community economic development, endogenous development


Krawchenko, T. (2014). Bringing Municipalities into Rural Community and Economic Development: Cases from Atlantic Canada. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 9(3).