Conventional or alternative development? Varying meanings and purposes of territorial rural development as a strategy for the Global South
Abstract. This paper discusses the increasing interest in the territorial dimension of rural development in the Global South. Adapting the local development approach of the 1970s to the changing context of globalization and to the competitiveness discourse, mainstream development agencies and scholars currently see territorial development (TD) as an attractive model for the integration of rural regions into globalization dynamics. However, territory serves not only conventional mainstream ideologies, but also post-development thinking. It is shown that territory has turned out to be a crucial element for social movements in the defense of alternative visions of modernity and in the constitution of life worlds outside the conventional development path. The analysis of the meaning development actors give the term territory and the focus on the purposes for which it is mobilized allows a variety of possible development paths for the rural South to be identified, thus going beyond the prevailing modernist vision.