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55 Int'l J.L. & Mgmt. 5 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/ijlm55 and id is 1 raw text is: The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at

Local action groups:
accountability, social
responsibility and law
Fitima David and Rute Abreu
Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, Guarda, Portugal, and
Odete Pinheiro
ADERES - Associagdo de Desenvolvimento Local Estrela Sul,
Cortes do Meio, Portugal

Local action

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the issues of accountability, social
responsibility and law related with local action groups (LAGs) to achieve local economic and
sustainable development.
Design/methodology/approach - The literature review justifies the conceptual frame of the issues
under discussion. Thus, on the one hand, the LEADER+ programme system statistics were used and,
on the other hand, the Portuguese Government and European Union laws, regulations and official
documents were used.
Findings - LAGs represent civil society in its various aspects and interests, assuming many times as
privileged partners of the State, strengthening the rights of individual citizens against the political and
economic power. Also, the LAGs as partners have specific local conditions, such as historical,
social and cultural identities, governance and geography, that should be equally considered.
Research limitations/implications - The results of the paper show accountability limitations, but
the LAG is developed as a source of indispensable and fundamental information for the
decision-making process of local sustainability.
Practical implications - LAGs sometimes, forgetting their real purpose, follow socially responsible
practices, often, to apply the strict compliance with the law, regulations and norms, even if social
responsibility strategies are arguably recognized as crucial to promote economic success, social and
life quality, and environmental sustainability.
Social implications - The challenges of local development in which the citizen, firms, entities and
policy makers are merged need sophisticated and comprehensive strategies and socially responsible
best practices to promote the welfare of the society.
Originality/value - This paper identifies case studies that highlight different strategic approaches
to recognize the importance of the LAGs in the implementation of sustainable policies and social
responsibility strategies. Also, different levels of accountability, social responsibility and law are
applied and promoted by LAG.
Keywords Social responsibility, Law, Local action groups, Accountability, Pressure groups
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Around the world, several localities face firms closing or leaving, unemployment and
severe economic problems. Also, the degradation and depletion of natural resources,
restructuring of societies, and the development of new technologies have usually been
so slow  as to be imperceptible (Meadows and Randers, 1992). Furthermore, these
happen too much and interact with desertification and the population decrease of

International Journal of Law and
Vol. 55 No. 1, 2013
pp. 5-27
© Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1105/17542431311303796

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