Social capital at the outburst of the economic crisis in Greece, 2008-2010

English title: Social capital at the outburst of the economic crisis in Greece, 2008-2010

Author(s): -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2015

Abstract

Social capital and its core components of social trust and associational activity are widely acknowledged as a core feature of strong and active civil societies that promote effective democratic governance and economic prosperity. Research regarding the concept of social capital continuously increases with much theoretical debate and controversy focusing upon the facets, forms, and manifestations of the concept of social capital. This follows the widespread acknowledgement that social capital is a phenomenon that can appear in multiple regimes following a country’s specific socio-cultural relations and associational forms, while in addition, it can be found in all types of organizations, i.e. both public and private. Within this context the present study sets out to explore two important research questions. The first one relates to the stock of social capital characterizing Greece and its change during a highly sensitive era, that of the outburst of the economic crisis. The second research question relates to analyzing the group of civil servants as carriers of higher or lower levels of social capital compared to the other citizens. Both these questions are important as they can help us sketch the country’s profile with regard to the vital concept of social capital that is highly associated with empowered democratization and increased participation levels. Based on the available knowledge in the field social capital is measured via the measurement of six main constructs comprising the soft and hard attributes of the concept, namely social trust, social altruism, equality, tolerance, humanitarianism and civic participation. Data are drawn from the European Social Value round 4 (2008) and round 5 (2010) surveys for Greece. Overall, empirical analysis indicates that the country experiences a statistically significant decline in its social capital level while public servants hold higher levels of social capital albeit also declining as for the rest of the country’s citizens. Important policy implications arise as a result of these findings related to issues of democratic legitimation and social participation.

Conference name: 1st International Conference of Development and Economy (ICODECON) “The advantages and disadvantages of Economic Crises”

Location: Kalamata, Greece

Start date: Oct 2, 2015

Type: Paper

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