Participatory development of local communities in the context of farmers’ social responsibility

Rita Vilkė


The ongoing multifaceted crisis of the 21st century demonstrates tight interconnectivity among governments, business and civil society as well as the urgent need for change. Permanent transformations cause changes in all areas of activity, principles and actors, which result in meaningful shifts in the public governance paradigm.
This paper examines the participatory development of local communities from the perspective of farmers’ social responsibility. The underlying research question is: “What level of social responsibility is assumed by farmers to support the involvement and development of a local community?” To answer the research question, positivist methodology was applied. Theoretical modelling was used to localize the research object – the participatory development of local communities - in conjunction with relevant paradigms of new public governance and corporate social responsibility. Farmers’ social responsibility was defined and theoretically explained from the participatory development approach. A representative empirical study was performed in Lithuanian farms.
Research results show that the participatory development of local communities in the context of farmers’ social responsibility is just evolving in Lithuania. The top five responsibilities most often assumed by Lithuanian farmers and even those never assumed lack core values of social responsibility due to its rare occurrence, and thus give foresight for more targeted development of farmers’ social responsibility in the future in the field of farmers’ support schemes.


new public governance, participatory governance, participatory community development, corporate social responsibility, farmers.

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