The paper takes a look at territorial policies employed in recent decades and, in particular, the policies of regional development and of endogenous development, and maintains that endogenous development policy constitutes a step forward over regional policies. Endogenous development strives to obtain self-sustained development in backward regions and argues that institutions that facilitate the introduction of innovations leading to diversification of productive activities and market access are key to the process. Hence, local actors must come to agreements as to strategies and goals, while local communities must participate in the management and control of development initiatives. However, the accommodation of the interests of economic and political elites with those of local communities is complex since common-law norms are not easily substituted. Therefore, development in the tropics always involves a slow process and requires specific actions and initiatives for each place.
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Vol. 17 • No. s1