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Neglect No resources? Community action Local resources Partnership? Municipal resources Dr Adriana M Soaita Centre for Housing Research University of St.

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Presentation on theme: "Neglect No resources? Community action Local resources Partnership? Municipal resources Dr Adriana M Soaita Centre for Housing Research University of St."— Presentation transcript:

1 Neglect No resources? Community action Local resources Partnership? Municipal resources Dr Adriana M Soaita Centre for Housing Research University of St Andrews

2 On the nature of social capital under the post-communist transition: views from Romania Dr Adriana M Soaita Centre for Housing Research University of St Andrews

3 What is the changing nature and forms of social capital in Romania? On the nature of social capital under the post-communist transition: views from Romania

4 Social Capital ± (soc. networks; resources; shared norms) Individual forms Actual or potential resources, linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalised relationships of mutual acquaintances (Bourdieu) Collective forms Features of social organization, such as networks, norms and trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefits (Putnam)

5 Positive consequences community care, public safety, information; civicness, law abidingness, better economic & institutional performance Negative consequences exclusion, excessive claims, restriction on individual freedom, downwards levelling norms; corruption, illegality, criminality Social Capital ± (soc. networks; resources; shared norms)

6 Negative/positive individual forms Negative collective forms Horizontal bonds and trust within family and friends Vertical connections to resource gatekeepers Scarce basic goods Uncertainty and distrust for others Forced, ritualistic participation in state organisations Social Capital under the communism regime

7 Social Capital under the post-communist transition

8 The city of Pitesti

9 Residents in blocks & houses (250 quest., 48 interviews) Residents in blocks & houses (250 quest., 48 interviews) Municipal decision-makers (9 interviews) Municipal decision-makers (9 interviews) Housing professionals (12 interviews) Housing professionals (12 interviews) What is your opinion about the participative culture in Romania, such as people gathering together to solve their problems, express opinions collectively or just socialize? Can you give any examples? Data

10 Low levels of engagement Expressing voice to the LoGo The status quo

11 Low levels of engagement Negative forms There is an ill will to use positions, money and nepotism only for perverse purposes: Lets help my nephew, poor thing, as he drove onto someone on a pedestrian crossing, at 100 miles a hour! (male, 56) The status quo

12 In mums village, it was a duty to keep the road clean. There were other rules that no one ever questioned (f emale, 50) Everyone knows what is claca! I come and help you now, you come and help me tomorrow! Still practiced but more rarely (m ale, 48) Continuity of traditional rural forms I.SC: Positive forms still alive but declining Rotational Credit Associations Wedding practices Other positive forms

13 Perverse forms Corresponding to the traffic of influence one could make, the connections one had, one got or not a flat. Oh, such a dirty traffic of influence existed around housing allocation! What an amoral swamp was the municipality! (m ale, 54) I.SC: persistent communist legacies

14 State capture & illegitimacy The same people remained in every important position. They kept their exclusive networks and traded among themselves (m ale, 59) Informality & corruption Corruption was transmitted from top to mass society, making every public employee easy to bribe and any entrepreneur a tax escapist (m ale, 57) I.SC: The 1990s, spread of negative forms

15 Institutionalization I see a City Hall that works: every paper is recorded, whether a claim, suggestion or complaint, a good management of information since I resolved my problems without any gifts (male, 36) Commodification Change of Rotational Credit Associations into Banks Change of claca into informal market I.SC: Europeanization (2000s) Again networking? Again privilege? No, this is not the way forwards! (female, 47)

16 Freedom not to participate We were told: You just stay put and quiet and I give you what you need! But if I tell meeting, you go to meeting! If I tell applaud, you applaud! (male, 68) Distrust & constraints People feel reluctant to participate as theyve been cheated and disappointed too many times. The political class is culpable for this. Then, of course, other factors play a role such as lack of time, lack of structures, and poverty (The Mayor) is a big zero! C.SC: Citizens involvement in urban affairs

17 Built institutional transparency & accountability Enable transparent home-based civic engagement ( /phone) Address technological/economic exclusion Rejection of collectivism in favour of individualism Final remarks:

18 Thank you Rejection of collectivism in favour of individualism


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