Local Societies and Rural Development
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Local Societies and Rural Development

Self-organization and Participatory Development in Asia

Edited by Shinichi Shigetomi and Ikuko Okamoto

The importance of community-based and participatory approaches to rural development in developing countries has long been emphasized. Rural people, who are economically and politically weak as individuals, can only participate in development projects when they are collectively organized. However, this is no easy task. This book aims to identify the mechanisms in each local society through which rural people can best organize themselves to meet their development requirements. It stresses the need to find local mechanisms that motivate and control the members of a new organization in order to achieve organizational goals.
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Chapter 9: Propositions for understanding local society for rural development

Shinichi Shigetomi


The self-organizing activities of local people are prerequisites for community-based, participatory rural development. The research objective of this volume was to identify the mechanisms through which rural people organize themselves for their development needs. We assumed that such mechanisms exist in local society. We regard local society as a system in which locality groups mobilize local institutions and resources to form and manage organizational activities. To identify the local social system, we applied an organizational process approach. We investigated the process by which local people organize themselves for development in various cases from seven Asian countries and observed how the actors, institutions, and resources in these local societies determine how local people organize themselves. In this concluding chapter, I synthesize the findings of the case studies to develop some propositions for understanding local society and the mechanisms that facilitate the self-organizing activities of rural people.

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