The paper deals with the adoption of new approaches in the practice of rural development. Major attention is paid to the LEADER approach, with the objective of evaluating the implementation of the principles in the activities of actors associated with Czech LAGs. Techniques of content analysis and interviews with selected representatives, mainly with managers of LAGs, were used for sociological empirical research. The results analyse concrete clashes between the hierarchic structure and the principle of network co-operation, which is starting to develop successfully at state-wide and international levels. Next, the results point out the failures in the implementation of the LEADER approach in the Czech Republic which have been overcome (linked with the principles of recourse from locality, decentralised management and financing, partnership) and, on the contrary, those which are still ongoing (linked with principles of integration of sectors, innovativeness). In the Conclusion, research questions for further solution are formulated.