EVROPSKI POKRET U SMEDEREVSKOJ PALANCI
EUROPEAN MOVEMENT IN SMEDEREVSKA PALANKA
Ive Bajazita bb (P. BOX 18), 11420 Smed. Palanka, Serbia and MontenegroPhone: +381 (0)26/318-106; GSM: +381 (0)64/190-44-60, Fax: +381 (0)26/318-406E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.evropski-pokret.org.yu
Social Capital And Civil Society
The concept of civil society and the concept of social capital are more and more frequently used in everydayconversation but hardly anybody understands what this is all about. There are a lot of definitions of both conceptsand in this brief article we shall highlight their relationship and the concept of social capital. We can differentiatebetween '
' by the fact that '
social capital' is the nature and essence of socialrelations in the community whereas 'civil society' is the institutional manifestation of these relations
. Alarge number of texts on modern societies are dedicated precisely to institutional forms of social relations but thenumber of texts to be found on the nature and essence of those social relations jointly presented as the
'socialcapital' of the community
is considerably smaller.Social capital is an old concept dating from 18
century and it was not until recently that it was revitalizedthrough vociferous disputes on civil society. A useful notion of social capital is that it is '
a system of norms andnetworks (within the community/society) which alleviate collective action'
. The second useful notion isconsidering '
social capital a social (common) resource which alleviates and/or makes the approach of anindividual to other social, economic or natural resources harder
'. According to ideas from the latest works, social capital is a concept based on specific social values, and it israther a normative concept than an objective description of people
s behaviour. The key value of analysing socialcapital is, however, in its breadth and abundant content, rather than in normative analysis. The importance of socialcapital lies not only in the fact that it alleviates understanding of civic participation in group activities (civic or other)but also in the fact that based on it we can more easily grasp
that not only are the non-monetary forms of socialinteractions a source of material or financial gain but a source of power as well
.Social capital can be observed as a concept used in sociology to describe human behaviour, or as a moremodern normative notion referring to sound state management and democratic behaviour, both on the local andbroader social levels, with regard to its importance for the development of a community.The modern concept of social capital developed at the beginning of the nineties in the previous century whenRobert Putnam stated the arguments that the effectiveness of the state government is in direct connection with theability of association in a particular community. The idea to observe the ability of association in a community as asociety resource was the response to the idea of accruing personal stock of material capital as the basis for rationaleconomic behaviour. This notion shows that people are social beings rather than lonely individuals, and that socialinteractions in social and economic life form social capital. The concept of social capital unites economy, politicalscience, development theories and sociology. Social capital as a concept connects functions of the market, statemanagement and social development into a whole.Works addressing the social structure of competitiveness on an imperfect market emphasize the importance of the social capital of participants in the market game. Each market participant has his own network of connections inthe arena. Certain players are connected with some other players, they trust them, are obligated to support themand depend on one another in money and commodity trade. The conclusion is that the network structure of any of the players can create competitive advantage from the point of view of investment return coefficient. Each
Contribution of the NGO »
European Movement in Smederevska Palanka
« for the 9
number of newsletter of the project "
Promotion of Pluralism by Strengthening NGOs and The Civil Society In Serbia
" in partnership with NGO »
«from Greece as main applicant (project B7-702/2001/0872, European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, European Commission).More information about project on the web sitehttp://www.hhdn.org.yu Prepared by
, Master of Systemology and Logistics