How to Cite
Barboza Arias, L. M. (2021). Local capabilities for rural territorial development: A current debate. Revista Internacional De Cooperación Y Desarrollo, 8(1), 9–27. https://doi.org/10.21500/23825014.5260
License terms


 Assignment of Rights


Authorization for reproduction, publication, communication and distribution of a literary, artistic or scientific


I , ____________________________________________, author of the book and / or article , of legal age , resident of the city of _________________ , identified with citizenship / passport n° ______________________ issued on _______________________, in exercise of his physical and mental faculties , part henceforth be called the AUTHOR , supports the following authorization to the reproduction, publication, communication and distribution of a work, perform the following terms:

 1.     Regardless of current legal regulations due to the linking of the parties to this contract, and any kind of legal presumption , the parties agree that the AUTHOR authorize ( name of the publisher ) to reproduce , publish , communicate and distribute the material referred to in the International Journal of Cooperation and Development of the University of San Buenaventura.

 2.     Such authorization lies in particular on the copyright of the work, by any means known or unknown, publication of the work, distribution of the work , either directly or through third parties for purely educational purposes.

 3.     AUTHOR agrees to report and declare the existence of this authorization and to preserve the right of the International Journal of Cooperation and Development of the first publication of the work.

 4.     AUTHOR declares that the article is original and that it is his sole creation, no impediment of any kind exist for the authorization he is doing, besides being responsible for any action claim, plagiarism or other type of claim that might arise about .

 5.     Such permission is free of charge.

 6.     Moral copyright in the article are solely the AUTHOR and the University of San Buenaventura expressly agrees to recognize and respect them rigorously.


The Author and / or AUTHORS



The objective of this article is to identify elements of analysis, which will continue the critical discussion on the incorporation of the capacity-oriented approach into policies for the development of rural territories, and to broaden reflection on its effects on the daily life of local actors. Since the 1990s, this approach began to be used in policy instruments whose main focus was on development problems. An institutionalist perspective with a strong regulatory orientation was adopted, by linking social actors to the formation of instrumental productive skills without a timely problematization of the contexts and situated realities. Some recent theoretical debates on livelihood diversification, rural territorial development, and sustainable transitions allow us to rethink this issue. The theoretical-methodological strategy of the article is framed within the analytical method of social research. The ethnomethodological approach is used to rethink the role of the social actor in the configuration of reality. This methodological approach considers the centrality of meaning in the intersubjective understanding of social phenomena. In the final considerations, it is argued that the incorporation of actor-oriented perspectives can facilitate the study of a different set of phenomena and realities, which represents a way to overcome the analytical weaknesses identified so far. A renewed focus on rural capabilities should inform the design and formulation of public policies on novel forms of co-construction of knowledge, which allow traditional analytical categories to be problematized. Such policies must retain a certain degree of reflexivity and self-criticism in the design and formulation of their instruments and strategies so that the planned intervention to which they give rise does not end up instrumentalizing the rationality, which underlies them, or by restricting people's agency to build, in freedom, the type of life they value as worthy of living.

Keywords: Democracy; Human Development; Social Participation; Government Policy; and Rural Environment.


Abramovay, R. (2007). Para uma teoria dos estudos territoriais. In, Ortega, Almeida Filho, N. (org.). Desenvolvimento Territorial, Segurança Alimentar e Economia Solidária. Campinas: Alínea editora.
Alexander, J. M. (2008). Capabilities and social justice: The political philosophy of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Farnham, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Alonso Ubieta, S., Delgado Ballesteros, A., & Díaz Porras, R. (2020). Enfoque de medios de vida: estrategias de los caficultores para enfrentar las presiones en el medio rural costarricense. E-Agronegocios, 6(1), 1-12.
Alkire, S. (2002). Dimensions of Human Development. World Development, 30(2), 181–205.
Aquino, J. R. D., Gazolla, M., & Schneider, S. (2017). O financiamento público da produção agroecológica e orgânica no Brasil: inovação institucional, obstáculos e desafios. In: Sambuichi, R. H. R. et al. (Eds.). A política nacional de agroecologia e produção orgânica no Brasil: uma trajetória de luta pelo desenvolvimento rural sustentável. Brasília: Ipea, 197-228.
Arias, L. M. B. (2020). Nota técnica sobre la formulación de la Estrategia Nacional de Bioeconomía en Costa Rica. e-Agronegocios, 7(1), 21-37.
Arias, L. B., Miranda, A. R., & Segura, F. S. (2020). Las políticas de desarrollo rural en Costa Rica: Avances y desafíos desde las perspectivas del territorio. Revista Rupturas, 1-20.
Balanzo, A., Garavito, L., Rojas, H., Sobotova, L., Pérez, O., Guaquetá, D., & Sanabria, S. (2020). Typical Challenges of Governance for Sustainable Regional Development in Globalized Latin America: A Multidimensional Literature Review. Sustainability, 12(7), 2702.
Ballet, J., Koffi, J. M., & Pelenc, J. (2013). Environment, justice and the capability approach. Ecological Economics, 85, 28-34.
Barboza-Arias, L. M., & Saénz-Segura, F. (2019). Transición hacia un nuevo sistema de innovación agropecuaria en Costa Rica: evolución y retos. En Goulet, F. et al. (Eds.). Sistemas y políticas de innovación para el sector agropecuario en América Latina. Rio de Janeiro: E-papers.
Barboza-Arias, L. M., Chacón-Araya, K., & Alpízar-Rojas, D. (2020). Narrativas de territorialización en las políticas públicas en Costa Rica y sus efectos en una comunidad indígena. EUTOPÍA, (18), 49-69.
Beling, A. E., Vanhulst, J., Demaria, F., Rabi, V., Carballo, A. E., & Pelenc, J. (2018). Discursive synergies for a ‘great transformation’towards sustainability: pragmatic contributions to a necessary dialogue between human development, degrowth, and buen vivir. Ecological Economics, 144, 304-313.
Berdegué, J., & Favareto, A. (2019). Desarrollo Territorial Rural en América Latina y el Caribe. 2030 –Alimentación, agricultura y desarrollo rural en América Latina y el Caribe, 32. Santiago de Chile: FAO.
Berg, M., & Lidskog, R. (2018). Deliberative democracy meets democratised science: a deliberative systems approach to global environmental governance. Environmental Politics, 27(1), 1-20.
Bebbington, A. (1999). Capitals and capabilities: a framework for analyzing peasant viability, rural livelihoods and poverty. World development, 27(12), 2021-2044.
Burchi, F., & De Muro, P. (2016). From food availability to nutritional capabilities: Advancing food security analysis. Food Policy, 60, 10-19.
Chambers, R., & Conway, G. (1992). Sustainable rural livelihoods: practical concepts for the 21st century. United Kingdom: Institute of Development Studies.
Clark, D. A., & Hodgett, S. (2019). The integrated capabilities framework: Exploring multiculturalism and human well-being in participatory settings. In Biggeri, M., & Frediani, A. A. (Eds.). The Capability Approach, Empowerment and Participation. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 223-260.
Cornwall, A., & Scoones, I. (2011). Revolutionizing development: reflections on the work of Robert Chambers. United Kingdom: Routledge.
Dirección de Cambio Climático. (2017). Portafolio de acciones de mitigación de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero (GEI) a escala cantonal de costa rica. San José, Costa Rica: Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía, Gobierno de Costa Rica.
Ellis, F. (1998). Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification. The journal of development studies, 35(1), 1-38.
Ellis, F. (2003). A Livelihoods Approach to Migration and Poverty Reduction, London: DFID.
Ellis, F. (2005). Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries. Oxford: University Press.
Evans, P. (2004). Development as institutional change: the pitfalls of monocropping and the potentials of deliberation. Studies in comparative international development, 38(4), 30-52.
Favareto, A., & Berdegué, J. (2018). Mudanças Globais e Locais –Implicações para o futuro do enfoque territorial do desenvolvimento rural em América Latina. Gestão e dinâmicas em desenvolvimento territorial. Curitiba: CRV.
Favareto, A. D. S., Guerrero Ginel, J. E., Grisa, C., Valencia Perafán, M. E., & Avila, M. L. (2017). Repensar as estratégias de desenvolvimento territorial no Brasil, um desafio conjunto para governos, sociedade civil e universidades. Revista em Gestão, Inovação e Sustentabilidade, 3(1), 163-176.
Fielke, S. J., Garrard, R., Jakku, E., Fleming, A., Wiseman, L., & Taylor, B. M. (2019). Conceptualising the DAIS: Implications of the ‘Digitalisation of Agricultural Innovation Systems’ on technology and policy at multiple levels. NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 90, 1-11.
Fonseca-Hernández, R., Mora-Vega, R., & López-Peña, A. (2020). Línea base situacional para el diseño de estrategias de desarrollo territorial en la Región Brunca, Costa Rica. En Fonseca-Hernández, R. et al. (Eds.). Cruce de caminos: Lecturas disciplinarias del territorio. San José, Costa Rica: FLACSO. 93-126.
Fornazier, A., & Perafán, M. E. V. (2018). Os arranjos das políticas territoriais no estado da Bahia. Revista Brasileira de Gestão e Desenvolvimento Regional, 14(5), 17-30.
Fraser, J. A., Cardoso, T., Steward, A., & Parry, L. (2018). Amazonian peasant livelihood differentiation as mutuality-market dialectics. The journal of peasant studies, 45(7), 1382-1409.
Frediani, A. A. (2010). Sen’s Capability Approach as a framework to the practice of development. Development in practice, 20(2), 173-187.
Freitas, T. D., Schneider, S., & Ramos, M. P. (2016). Sociology of Living Conditions: a mid-range approach to development studies. Sociologies in Dialogue, 2(1), 77-91.
Garfinkel, H. (2018). Estudos de etnometodologia. Brasil: Editora Vozes Limitada.
Gobierno de Costa Rica. (2018). Plan Nacional de Descarbonización 2018-2050. San José, Costa Rica: Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía, Gobierno de Costa Rica.
Goulet, F., Le Coq, J. F., & Sotomayor, O. (2019). Sistemas y políticas de innovación para el sector agropecuario en América Latina. Rio de Janeiro: E-papers.
Grafton, R. Q., Daugbjerg, C., & Qureshi, M. E. (2015). Towards food security by 2050. Food Security, 7(2), 179-183.
Hernández, D. R. F., Vega, M. R. M., & Carbajal, B. S. R. (2020). Estado del Desarrollo Humano Local de las regiones periféricas de Costa Rica. Atlantic Review of Economics – AROEC, 5(2), 1-23.
Hubeau, M., Marchand, F., Coteur, I., Mondelaers, K., Debruyne, L., & Van Huylenbroeck, G. (2017). A new agri-food systems sustainability approach to identify shared transformation pathways towards sustainability. Ecological Economics, 131(C), 52-63.
Inder, Instituto de Desarrollo Rural. (2016). Política de Estado para el Desarrollo Rural Territorial de Costa Rica (2015-2030). San José, Costa Rica: INDER.
Ingram, J. (2018). Agricultural transition: Niche and regime knowledge systems’ boundary dynamics. Environmental innovation and societal transitions, 26, 117-135.
Kivimaa, P., Boon, W., Hyysalo, S., & Klerkx, L. (2019). Towards a typology of intermediaries in sustainability transitions: A systematic review and a research agenda. Research Policy, 48(4), 1062-1075.
Klein, E., & Ballon, P. (2017). The capability approach, agency and sustainable development. In: Otto, H. U., & Walker, M. (Eds.). Capability-promoting Policies: Enhancing Individual and Social Development. Bristol, United Kingdom: Policy Press.
Koopmans, M. E., Rogge, E., Mettepenningen, E., Knickel, K., & Šūmane, S. (2018). The role of multi-actor governance in aligning farm modernization and sustainable rural development. Journal of rural studies, 59, 252-262.
Kühn, D. D., & Waquil, P. D. (2015). Rurality and poverty at Río Grande do Sul (Brazil) state: a view through the capability approach. Redes, 20(3), 29-53.
Laschefski, K. (2019). Conflicting urban and rural territorial livelihood metabolisms: The “explosion” of the “sustainable” urban-industrial pulp complex in Bahia–Brazil. Sustainable cities and society, 45, 159-171.
Meadowcroft, J., Langhelle, O., & Ruud, A. (2012). Governance, democracy and sustainable development: moving beyond the impasse. In Meadowcroft, J. et al. (Eds.). Governance, Democracy and Sustainable Development. United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Mendoza, M. Á. G., Deslauriers, J. P., & Piedrahita, M. V. A. (2010). Cómo hacer tesis de maestría y doctorado: investigación, escritura y publicación. México: Ecoe ediciones.
Martins, N. O. (2020). Human Development: Which Way Now? New Political Economy, 25(3), 404-418.
Matte, A., & Waquil, P. D. (2018). Markets in livestock ranching in southern Brazil: between vulnerable situations and reaction strategies. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 30(8), 1.
Nascimento, A. L., da Silva Pastich, F. C. L., Maia, S. R., Schneider, S., & de Lira, P. I. C. (2012). A construção de capacidades e meios de vida na garantia da segurança alimentar do rural pernambucano. Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional, 19(2), 50-62.
Nussbaum, M. (2003). Capabilities as fundamental entitlements: Sen and social justice. Feminist economics, 9(2-3), 33-59.
Oliveira, M. R. (2018). Algumas teorias para discutir o desenvolvimento. Economia e Desenvolvimento, 30(8), 1-10.
Oliveira, D., Grisa, C., & Niederle, P. (2020). Inovações e novidades na construção de mercados para a agricultura familiar: os casos da Rede Ecovida de Agroecologia e da RedeCoop. Redes, 25(1), 135-163.
Paiva-Silva, J. (2020). Pragmatism as a pillar of the New Developmentalism. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, 40(2), 376-397.
PEN, Programa Estado de la Nación. (2020). Capítulo 10: balance 2020 armonía con la naturaleza. San José, Costa Rica: Conare.
Pickering, J., & Persson, Å. (2020). Democratising planetary boundaries: experts, social values and deliberative risk evaluation in Earth system governance. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 22(1), 59-71.
PNUD. (1990). Desarrollo Humano. Informe 1990. Bogotá, Colombia: Tercer Mundo Editores.
Pritchard, B., Dixon, J., Hull, E., & Choithani, C. (2016). Stepping back and moving in the role of the state in the contemporary food regime. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 43(3), 693-710.
Rodríguez, A. G., Rodrigues, M. D. S., & Sotomayor Echenique, O. (2019). Hacia una bioeconomía sostenible en América Latina y el Caribe: elementos para una visión regional. Santiago, Chile: CEPAL.
Retamozo, M. (2012). Constructivismo: epistemología y metodología en las ciencias sociales. En De la Garza Toledo, E., & Leyva, G. (Eds.). Tratado de metodología de las ciencias sociales: perspectivas actuales. DF, México: Fondo de Cultura Económica.
Rosado, J., Villarreal, F. G., & Stezano, F. (2020). Fortalecimiento de la inclusión y capacidades financieras en el ámbito rural. Documentos de Proyectos, (LC/TS.2020/16/Rev.1) (LC/MEX/TS.2020/1/Rev.1), Ciudad de México, Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
Santos, M. (2017). Sociedade e espaço: a formação social como teoria e como método. Boletim Paulista de geografia, (54), 81-100.
Scheidel, A., Temper, L., Demaria, F., & Martínez-Alier, J. (2018). Ecological distribution conflicts as forces for sustainability: an overview and conceptual framework. Sustainability science, 13(3), 585-598.
Schlosberg, D. (2019). Disruption, community, and resilient governance: Environmental justice in the Anthropocene. In Haller et al. (Eds.). The commons in a glocal world: Global connections and local responses. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.
Schneider, S. (2010). Situando o desenvolvimento rural no Brasil: o contexto e as questões em debate. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, 30(3), 511-531.
Scott, K., Rowe, F., & Pollock, V. (2018). Creating the good life? A wellbeing perspective on cultural value in rural development. Journal of Rural Studies, 59, 173-182.
Sen, A. (1982a). Poverty and famines: an essay on entitlement and deprivation. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Sen, A. (1982b). Rights and agency. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 3-39.
Sen, A. (1983). Development: Which way now? The economic journal, 93(372), 745-762.
Sen, A. K. (1999). Development as Freedom, Alfred A. Knopf: New York.
Sen, A. (2004). Rationality and freedom. United States: Harvard University Press.
Sen, A. K. (2009). The idea of justice. United States: Harvard University Press.
Sen, A., Williams, B., & Williams, B. A. O. (Eds.). (1982). Utilitarianism and beyond. Cambridge, Reino Unido: Cambridge University Press.
Sepúlveda, S. (2008). Gestión del desarrollo sostenible en territorios rurales: Métodos para la planificación. San José, Costa Rica: IICA.
Scoones, I. (1998). Sustainable rural livelihoods. A Framework for Analysis. Brighton: IDS.
Scoones, I., & Stirling, A. (2020). The politics of uncertainty: Challenges of transformation. London: Taylor & Francis.
Shapiro-Garza, E., King, D., Rivera-Aguirre, A., Wang, S., & Finley-Lezcano, J. (2020). A participatory framework for feasibility assessments of climate change resilience strategies for smallholders: lessons from coffee cooperatives in Latin America. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 18(1), 21-34.
Small, L. A. (2007). The sustainable rural livelihoods approach: a critical review. Canadian Journal of Development Studies/Revue canadienne d’études du développement, 28(1), 27-38.
Smith, M. L., & Seward, C. (2009). The relational ontology of Amartya Sen’s capability approach: Incorporating social and individual causes. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 10(2), 213-235.
Temper, L., Walter, M., Rodriguez, I., Kothari, A., & Turhan, E. (2018). A perspective on radical transformations to sustainability: resistances, movements and alternatives. Sustainability Science, 13(3), 747-764.
Touzard, J. M., Temple, L., Goulet, F., Chiffoleau, Y., & Faure, G. (2018). Innovation and development in agricultural and food systems. France: Quae.
Urquiza, A., Billi, M., & Leal, T. (2017). Aplicar una distinción. Un programa sistémico-constructivista para la investigación social cualitativa. Revista Mad, (37), 21-53.
Valencia, M.; Le Coq, J.F.; Favareto, A.; Samper, M.; Sáenz-Segura, F.; & Sabourin, E. (2019). Hacia una nueva generación de políticas públicas para el desarrollo territorial rural en América Latina, Info – Note DTR, Rede PP-Al, RETE.
Valencia-Perafán, Mi., Le Coq, J.F., Favareto, A., Samper, S., Sáenz-Segura, F., & Sabourin, E. (2020). Políticas Públicas Para El Desarrollo Territorial Rural En América Latina: Balance Y Perspectivas. Eutopía. Revista De Desarrollo Económico Territorial, 17, 25-40.
Williams, S., & Doyon, A. (2019). Justice in energy transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 31, 144-153.


Download data is not yet available.

Cited by