LEADER and Spatial Justice

LEADER and Spatial Justice.

Mark Shucksmith, Elizabeth Brooks and Ali Madanipour

Sociologia Ruralis: Journal of the European Society for Rural Sociology 2021.


This paper explores ideas of ‘spatial justice’ and how they can be applied via placed – based approaches in a rural context. It identifies four key dimensions to spatial justice – plurality and diversity, active participation and capacity building and governance and power and uses these to analyse the extent to which LEADER constitutes local action addressing spatial justice via a case study of Northumberland Uplands Local Action Group (NULAG).


Based on interviews with key participants the case study examines the different phases of the development of NULAG between 2007 and 2020 and how it ‘became an example of conditional localism with local control severely eroded as central government control escalated during the period 2007–2020’.   The paper concludes that LEADER has potential to contribute to spatial justice – both distributive and procedural – but that this may be frustrated by the imposition of different priorities and controls at local or from higher levels.

Read the full open access article here: LEADER and Spatial Justice – Shucksmith – – Sociologia Ruralis – Wiley Online Library