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Agricultural landscape as a driver of regional competitiveness - The role of stakeholder networks in landscape valorisation

Lena Schaller, V Ehmeier, Martin Kapfer and J. Kantelhardt

No 174944, 2014 Third Congress, June 25-27, 2014, Alghero, Italy from Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA)

Abstract: The use and valorisation of landscape services provided in agricultural landscapes are assumed to create socio-economic benefits, which in turn can enhance the competitiveness of rural regions. However, the causal relationships between the valorisation of landscape and the socio-economic benefits are complex and up to now not comprehensively understood. Results of a stakeholder workshop held in a rural area in the northern Austrian Alps indicate, that functioning networks of regional actors are of utter importance for successful landscape valorisation. Also literature reveals that the successful involvement of stakeholders is a major factor for an effective management of complex social processes. Against this background our paper analyses the contribution of social networks to landscape valorisation in the Austrian study region “Mittleres Ennstal”. We apply a Social Network Analysis (SNA) on a closed stakeholder network of altogether 22 institutions representing agriculture, tourism, local administration, local economy, nature conservation and rural development. We combine SNA with an expert evaluation of different strategies of landscape valorisation and assess how regional socio-economic benefits from landscape valorisation potentially impact on regional competitiveness. The study gives insights about the density of stakeholder networks in rural areas and about the different strategies of landscape valorisation pursued by different stakeholder groups. The method applied is suitable to show the potentials of stakeholder networks in fostering landscape valorisation. It furthermore is able to detect strategic gaps and thus can reveal potential starting points for the improvement and bundling of landscape valorisation strategies aiming at the enhancement of regional competitiveness.

Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; Environmental Economics and Policy; Land Economics/Use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 14
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env, nep-ger, nep-hme and nep-soc
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.174944

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