Last modified: 2016-02-15
This paper focuses on the sustainability of rural areas from three points of view. The first is the confrontation between different discourses of rurality. This section of the paper is based on the concept of contesting development in rural areas by Michael Woods. The second perspective focuses on the role of agriculture in rural development. Is rural development possible without farm subsidies? How is the topic of rural development and farm subsidies reflected in the political programmes of Czech parliamentary parties? The low administrative capacity of Czech rural municipalities represents the third face of the sustainability of rural areas. Small rural municipalities have no chance of venturing into major economic projects; they can improve the appearance of municipalities and the level of social services, but the basic issues of the economic development of the locality are beyond their real horizon. Rural municipalities must face a high risk of indebtedness, which can result in a loss of their basic self-governing functions.