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Rural cohesion: Collective efficacy and leadership in the territorial governance of inclusion

Jørgensen, Anja; Fallov, Mia Arp; Casado-Diaz, Maria; Atkinson, Rob

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Anja Jørgensen

Mia Arp Fallov


This article is a comparative study of the contextual conditions for collective efficacy and territorial governance of social cohesion in two different rural localities: West Dorset in England and Lemvig in Denmark. The objective is to understand the conditions for and relations between neo-endogenous development and rural social cohesion in two different national contexts. Common to both cases are problems of demographic change, particularly loss of young people, depopulation, economic challenges and their peripheral location vis-à-vis the rest of the country. However, in West Dorset, community identity is fragmented compared to Lemvig, and this has consequences for how well local 'collective efficacy' (Sampson, 2012) transfers to more strategic levels of local development. These include not only variations in welfare settings and governance, but also variations in settlement structure and place identity (Jørgensen, Knudsen, Fallov, & Skov, 2016), collective efficacy, and the role of local leadership (Beer & Clower, 2014), which structure the conditions for rural development. While Lemvig is characterized by close interlocking relations between local government, business and civil society, this is less the case in England where centralization of powers in tandem with a dramatic restructuring of service delivery forms (e.g., contracting out, privatisation) have had damaging effects on these types of interlocking relations. Comparing these cases through the lens of the combined concepts of collective efficacy and place-based leadership contribute to the understanding of rural development as not only relations between intra-and extra-local connections but also formal and informal forms of collective action and leadership.


Jørgensen, A., Fallov, M. A., Casado-Diaz, M., & Atkinson, R. (2020). Rural cohesion: Collective efficacy and leadership in the territorial governance of inclusion. Social Inclusion, 8(4), 229-241.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 28, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 3, 2020
Publication Date Dec 3, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 23, 2020
Publicly Available Date Dec 3, 2020
Journal Social Inclusion
Electronic ISSN 2183-2803
Publisher Cogitatio Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 4
Article Number 3364
Pages 229-241
Keywords collective efficacy; Denmark; England; local leadership; rural cohesion; territorial cohesion; territorial governance
Public URL
Additional Information Output to be published online at the end of November 2020.


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