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