Form Without Substance, Past over Present: The Institutional Failure of National U.S. Rural Policy

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Document summarizes what the author sees as a failure of rural policy at the federal level, as trapped in an agricultural policy domain.

Author examines the failure to develop meaningful rural policies as a problem inherent in domain politics, given the stagnancy of rural policy networks as unable to evolve beyond certain farm issues. Analysis seeks to explain complexities of institutional capture of public policy and the resulting government neglect of the poor and rural communities.

Policy solutions include banning political action committees (PACs) to reduce farm power, dismantling farm price support programs, organizing a national rural advocacy coalition, expanding rural based research, and reorganizing USDA and land-grant universities.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group