The effect of LEADER on local empowerment in Dutch local developement
This thesis discusses the effect of the European LEADER method on local empowerment in Dutch local development. The effect of LEADER on local development is usually approached from an economical and territorial viewpoint. Both policy reports and scientific papers fail to address the social effect of LEADER on local development, especially the empowerment of locals in their own local development. The thesis combines qualitative research and the endogenous approach to determine and explain the effect of endogenous and exogenous variables on the relation between LEADER and local empowerment. The research is applied to a Dutch context. This thesis clarifies the influence of regulations, resource dependency, preconditions, the representation of the local community and power relations on the relation between LEADER and local empowerment. LEADER affects the local empowerment in Dutch local development in a mostly negative way by facilitating the Dutch national government in establishing financial centralization leading to 1) a lack of financial autonomy for locals and 2) a poor representation of the local community in local development as marginalized groups are excluded from resources, capacity to act and decision-making.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen