[Conference 2013 CfP] Social Capital Working Group

Panel/Stream Proposal for IIPPE Fourth Annual Conference in Political Economy, International Institute for Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands July 9-11, 2013

Pro-social Strategies for Public Welfare: The Role of Social Capital and Trust

Dr. Luca Andriani, Birkbeck College University of London, UK

Dr. Asimina Christoforou, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece

The Fourth International Conference in Political Economy will take place in The Hague (The Netherlands) July 9-11, 2013. The conference theme is “Activism and Alterative Economic Strategies” in light of the on-going economic and political crisis (for details, please consult http://iippe.org/wp/).

As members of the IIPPE social capital working group, we propose a panel on “Pro-social Strategies for Public Welfare: The Role of Social Capital and Trust”. In the past decades, state and market institutions have failed to deliver redistribution and welfare in both developing and high-income geopolitical contexts, particularly after the global economic crisis broke out. This induced agents to engage in short-term, self-oriented strategies either to consolidate their power or salvage a subsistence level of living, which impedes collective action for social reform and the promotion of long-term public benefits. Nonetheless, and in response to deeper recession, social upheaval and political instability, there are collective efforts for social awareness and mobilisation to confront immediate problems of destitution and to reclaim people’s right to a quality of life.

In this sense, this panel aims to open a constructive discussion on the role of social capital and trust in building pro-social strategies for public welfare. We ask how norms and networks of cooperation, reciprocity and trust could facilitate – or hinder – a wider range of pro-social strategies, which could include, but are not limited to:

  • active social and political participation to deal with the democratic deficit of both the developed and developing world;
  • assessing events of corruption associated not only with the effects and motives of rent-seeking behaviour and tax evasion, but also with the imperspicuous transactions of powerful economic and political groups;
  • advocacy and redistributive functions of non-governmental organisations and voluntary associations that represent disadvantaged groups and fight for their needs and rights;
  • activities of social enterprises and cooperatives that provide alternative ways of production, based on general-interest objectives and innovative forms of democratic participation of stakeholders, workers and investors.

We welcome works that derive from various social science disciplines and use different units of analysis (individual, regional, country or cross-country level), methodologies and techniques (theoretical, empirical, qualitative and quantitative).

Abstracts (500 words maximum) should be submitted to Luca Andriani (luca.andriani@bbk.ac.uk) and/or Asimina Christoforou (asimina.christoforou@gmail.com) by the 10th of February 2013.


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