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Economic Development from the margins: Lessons from Chiapas

IJED, Vol. 4 No. 1, (2002)

This article addresses the problems associated with economic community development in marginal communities within Less Developed Nations, using the complex case of groups within a conflictive region of the state of Chiapas, Mexico. It shows how all parties to community development must negotiate with each other and the forces at play in these and similar situations, in order to overcome the many obstacles. It also explores the role of social scientists in the debate about what can be done to maintain and improve the economic viability of rural economies (other than out-migration), and how to do so in a sustainable and equitable manner. It closes calling for some means to maintain a "knowledge fund" to accumulate lessons about what works and what fails in such efforts.

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