Rural Development and Local Agricultural Systems: a Methodological View - The purpose ojthis work is to contribute a jew reflections to the debate that has flourished in recent years around two issues, rural development and systemic reading ojthe territorial articulation ojagricultural development. These issues have become ofcrucial importance also for institutional intervention at various levels (EU, national, regional). After a reflection on the approaches to rural development, highlighting the contradictions ojinstitutional intervention, and after a succinct description
ojthe results ojthe investigations conducted in Italy up to this time, this study suggests an analytical model capab!e ojproviding some indications regarding rura! development at different levels (EU, national, regional). The proposed instrument satisfies certain requirements: repeatability oj the investigation at different times and in a variety oj contexts, enabling the monitoring oj the effectiveness and efficiency oj the jund allocations and the comparison with other contexts, national or European. Moreover, the use oj multivariate two-stage statistical techniques, Principal Components Analysis and Cluster Analysis, with the selection ojfùrther indicators in the second stage according to the peculiarities ofthe single contexts, ensures
sufficient flexibility with regards to the heterogeneity oj the situations in the rural world and the varying agricultural and rural policy demands.