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Translating the Bottom-Up Frame

Everyday Negotiations of the European Union's Rural Development Programme LEADER in Germany

Oliver Müller, Ove Sutter and Sina Wohlgemuth

The paper follows the different moments of translation when LEADER, the EU development programme for rural areas, is put into practice on the local level. Drawing on ethnographic data gathered during several field observations and semistructured interviews from two LEADER regions in Germany, we analyse how the interpretive repertoire of LEADER’s bottom-up approach is actualised, appropriated and negotiated by different actors when translated into local contexts of participative rural development. Drawing on Stuart Hall’s theoretical distinction of different positions of ‘decoding’, the article demonstrates how the ‘bottom-up frame’ is interpreted and adapted strategically from a ‘dominant-hegemonic’, ‘negotiated’ and ‘oppositional’ position.