Universiteit Leiden

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Figuring rural development: concepts and cases of land use, sustainability and integrative indicators

Promotores: Prof. dr. G.R. (Geert) de Snoo, Dr. E. (Ester) van der Voet

Marieke Hobbes
04 maart 2010
Thesis in Leiden Repository

 Sustainable economic development is essential for hundreds of millions of poor households in rural areas. This book represents a merger of environmental science and rural development economics. It elucidates the linkage between rational choice theory and theories on land use change. It builds a quantitative framework to connect the environmental method of Material Flow Analysis to basic issues of rural development such as agricultural intensification and food security. And finally, it develops a unique measuring rod of wealth and poverty called Freely Disposable Time, which integrates time and cash flows of households. With this indicator, we can quantify the much-cherished concepts of freedoms and development capacity. Along the way, the book provides critical discussions on ‘standard’ Material Flow Analysis, systems versus actor-based approaches, and the oversupply of inductive studies in land use and development science. Empirical data are drawn from the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Laos and the Netherlands, in a comparative perspective.