The ideas of local development are controversial, there is little consensus, and sometimes they are even antagonistic, in Brazil and abroad. Given this controversy, this article discusses local development management, based on instruments selected through an exploratory analysis, not only conceptual and theoretical, but above all practical. It presents a comparative analysis of regionally distributed experiences taking into account their insertion in social networks and the economic results in their regions (South, Southeast and Northeast). On reflecting about local development one can perceive that it unfolds in two fronts: locally, a reproduction of the capitalist logic (tradition), and counter-hegemonic attempts (solidarity). Some key issues were identified to guide a reflection on the role of civil society actors and governments in the formulation of proposals and initiatives for local economic development.
local development; comparative analysis; territory; actors' articulation; instruments for social governance