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Social Capital and Cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe: A Theoretical Perspective

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  • Murray, Catherine

Abstract

The transition process in central and eastern Europe (CEE) had a profound effect on how individuals interact. Economic and social institutions have changed, requiring an adaptation process by individuals in the move toward a market economy. How each individual accesses, manipulates and uses their networks will determine the use of their social capital. Within CEE, there is a presumption of low levels of social capital. This paper was written as a conceptual framework for a research project entitled 'Integrated Development of Agricultural and Rural Institutions' (IDARI) in CEE countries. One element of the IDARI project is to understand the emergence and maintenance of cooperative behaviour in light of rural restructuring and institutional change in CEE. A link exists between social capital formation and cooperation amongst individuals, as both concepts imply social interaction and the formation of trust. This paper questions the rationale of applying the contested 'western' concept of social capital to CEE countries. It argues that although the concept was developed to understand processes within established democratic systems, it nevertheless is instrumental for analysing how trust is formed, and for understanding cooperation amongst individuals. As such, this framework reconciles literature from sociological and economic disciplines. Social networks and use of those networks (social capital) is becoming more important in light of accession to the EU, particularly when opportunities within and access to rural and regional development programmes are dependent on existing networks. Social capital is seen as a dynamic entity, a form of institutional change, which leads to innovation in the existing governance structures. Thus social capital provides a powerful explanatory tool for processes of institutional change.

Suggested Citation

  • Murray, Catherine, 2005. "Social Capital and Cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe: A Theoretical Perspective," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18831, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:huiain:18831
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/18831
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    Cited by:

    1. Beyene, Fekadu, 2007. "The Role of Customary Institutions in Managing Conflict on Grazing Land: A Study from Mieso District, Eastern Ethiopia," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 7703, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    2. Forgacs, Csaba, 2007. "Leadership and the importance of social capital in the transition of cooperatives: A Case Study of Two Cooperatives," Studies in Agricultural Economics, Research Institute for Agricultural Economics, issue 105, January.
    3. Beckmann, Volker & Soregaroli, Claudio & Wesseler, Justus, 2006. "Governing the Co-existence of GM Crops: Ex-Ante Regulation and Ex-Post Liability under Uncertainty and Irreversibility," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18845, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    4. Tisdell, Clement A., 2008. "BEHAVIOURS OF CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS. Analysis based on New (and not so new) Institutional Economics," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 6185, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    5. Chobotova, Veronika & Kluvankova-Oravska, Tatiana, 2006. "Shifting Governance In Slovensky Raj National Park," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18834, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    6. Theesfeld, Insa & Schleyer, Christian & Callois, Jean-Marc & Aznar, Olivier, 2008. "Ex-ante Policy Assessment from an Institutional Perspective. A Procedure for Institutional Compatibility Assessment (PICA)," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 6112, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    7. Gatzweiler, Franz W. & Volkmann, Jorg, 2007. "Beyond Economic Efficiency in Biodiversity Conservation," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 7704, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    8. Forgács, Csaba, 2008. "Leadership and Importance of Social Capital in Cooperatives during Transition: A Case Study of Two Cooperatives," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 36(1).
    9. Thiel, Andreas, 2006. "Institutions of Sustainability and Multifunctional Landscapes: Lessons from the Case of the Algarve," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18844, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    10. Kluvankova-Oravska, Tatiana & Chobotová, Veronika, 2008. "Shifting Governance in Slovensky Raj National Park," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 36(1).
    11. Jungcurt, Stefan & Meyer, Thomas, 2006. "CONSOLIDATION, DELIMITATION AND STALEMATE. Disruptive Interplay and Strategic Incentives in the CBD-TRIPS Relationship," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18843, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    12. Anna Golejewska, 2012. "Rola instytucji w gospodarce opartej na wiedzy: aspekt regionalny," Working Papers of Economics of European Integration Division 1202, The Univeristy of Gdansk, Faculty of Economics, Economics of European Integration Division.
    13. Hundie, Bekele, 2006. "Explaining Changes of Property Rights among Afar Pastoralists, Ethiopia," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18833, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.

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