chapter  1
12 Pages

Introduction: Leader as an Experiment in Grass-Roots Democracy

The subject matter of this volume is the European rural development programme LEADER. The aim is to highlight this unique policy approach and to publish up-to-date research results on its achievements and limits, in order to discuss its merits and problems. LEADER is an initiative within the European Union’s political repertoire which has been running for over 20 years. What makes it important is not only that it has a major role in rural development efforts, but also, that it has a pioneering role in the new type of governance that has been debated by policy-makers and political scientist over the last two to three decades.