Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the focus on rural development and public goods within the common agricultural policy (CAP). Many researchers emphasise how this implies a need for new ways of implementing policy and innovative collaboration between various actors. Policymakers also acknowledge such needs. Local action groups and organisations have a significant potential in this new rural development context. Such local groups can form the basis for a hybrid governance of public goods and sustainable rural development. We identify the potential benefits of such governance in terms of reduced costs, better results and synergies in rural development. With their own agendas, such groups already exist and reflect a potential for hybrid governance. This paper investigates the occurrence of such groups in Sweden and their potential in Europe and elsewhere.
Keywords: agricultural policy, rural development, hybrid governance, local groups, new associationalism, post-productivism, Sweden, agriculture, local governance, collective governance, Common Agricultural Policy, local action groups, local organisations, public goods, sustainable development, sustainability