The heart of ETUDE consists of a re-conceptualization of regional/rural constellations as visualized in the following figure:

ETUDEfiguur2.jpg

Starting from this (preliminary) conceptual model, ETUDE postulates three central hypotheses:

  • The strength and density of WEB interrelations and positive mutual externalities within rural societies will be reflected in the strength of their economies.
  • This WEB is currently being reshaped amongst others through processes of rural development, within which the rise of multifunctional farming and the re-linking of farming to the territory both play a major role.
  • A proper understanding of the WEB requires the introduction of the indicated six `conceptual dimensions` into the analysis. Without taking into account these dimensions it is impossible to come at grips with patterns of underlying positive mutual externalities.