Social Capital, Regional Development, and Europeanization in Hungary. A Literature Review

Publication Type: 
CPS Policy Research Reports
The paper offers a critical approach to the definition of social capita, arguing that network component of the standard ‘social capital mix’ provides the most robust justification for the capital ascription of social capital. Whilst an emphasis on networks might appear to follow a narrow economic interpretation of capital, the paper suggests that it is useful for explaining the role of social capital within regional development and Euro¬peanisation especially in post-socialist contexts. The paper offers an overview of some recent estimates of social capital in Hungary comparing the country with other EU countries and others in Central and East Europe. Next, it addresses regional development and social capital, including core topics such as territorial distribution of social capital, its association with various aspects of regional development. The section also includes related research on social capital in cross-border relations, minority governance, and social capital and local labour markets. TThe final part deals with specific policies targeting uneven regional development, in particular, the current and upcoming EU co-financed regional development policies. Here, the question of regional influence in shaping absorption capacities will be highlighted, in particular, relations between the local public, private and civil sectors and relations between the regional and central authorities. The paper concludes with an overview of the few Hungarian analyses of Europeanisation, with special emphasis on the role social capital plays in influencing the operation of Structural Funds, in particular, the impact of greater civic engagement in the production of National Development Plans.