Understanding Local Development as the interaction of a complex mosaic of measures, resources and actors requires having an interdisciplinary perspective. ‘Local’ means small-scale, focused, and within reach - one would suggest -, while comparing or understanding inter-regional dynamics (putting what we mean by ‘locality’ on the global map) is what brings into sight traits, which can be treated as universal, typical or individual. The sections of the conference tackled this kaleidoscope of themes that has evolved around tradition, innovation and reform, with roots in both academia and policy-making connected to entrepreneurship, governance, economic and social structure, the labor market and human capital.
The Reader contains a selection of some of the papers presented at the conference and represents the variety of approaches and localities brought forward. The cases of three successful grassroots developments from local trade in East and Central Africa, the privatization of collective farming in China, and the moral economy of Hungarian farmers during the transition from collective to private farming set the tone for further discussion (Oberschall). W e learn about some generalizable patterns in the search for the entrepreneurial traits of business owners and beyond, scrutinized through a case study from the Accra city area of Ghana (Trevisan). As regards the social dimensions of local development, the case of the Family District in Trentino region raises the issue of how well-being, social cohesion and economic development can be created in an integrated manner (Malfer-Perino). In contrast to the above-described case study, we learn about how the interests of people affected by development measures are not always taken into consideration in their entirety. The study of the consequences of development-induced relocation in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia, reveals how the process resulted in the restriction of the rights of children to education. The study points to the anomalies in relocation policy as concerns the consideration and treatment of vulnerable groups in the form of a focus on children’s rights (Malede). Despite the integration of activities and policies involving civil society organizations in the design and implementation of development programs, examples from Serbia ﬂ ag up some anomalies in this respect. Generalizable recommendations for all players and other contexts as regards how the contribution of civil society organizations can be channeled more efﬁ ciently are given in this study (Božović).
The next set of recommendations is drawn from an analysis of policies in Bosnia and Herzegovina designed to promote a more favorable climate for development (Ramic, Majanovic, Komic). Finally, the connection between growth and human capital is investigated in a cross-regional analysis of the EU-28 which identiﬁ es the most prosperous regions (Tarján). In the Annex the Reader can ﬁ nd an introductory guideline for understanding and analyzing microcredit policies, along with a set of deﬁ nitions of microcredit (Futó-Gosztonyi-Hasan). The Joint Master’s Program in Comparative Local Development now dates back more than a decade and is currently hosted by the coordinator Corvinus University Budapest in partnership with the University of Regensburg, the University of Ljubljana and the University of Trento. This program brings together a pool of exceptional students from all over the world with various professional, academic and cultural backgrounds. The uniqueness of this conference stemmed from the contributions of the students with their conference presentations and public project defense-sessions which invited the public to take a virtual trip across the globe with a local focus.