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Special Issue "Social Capital and Sustainability: Spatial Evidence"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 8062

Special Issue Editor

Department of Economics, University of Peloponnese, Tripoli, Arcadia 22100, Greece
Interests: social capital; institutions; trust; wellbeing; governance; regional development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The role of social capital as a critical determinant of sustainable developmental paradigms is widely acknowledged. Similarly, the multiple representations of the social capital phenomenon are common ground, following a large body of research that illustrates the socio-cultural embeddedness and consequently the cultural uniqueness of social capital. Both these realizations have triggered research towards identifying the reasons why countries are differentiated in terms of their stock of social capital and its linkages to growth mechanisms (e.g., entrepreneurial activity) and citizen welfare institutions (e.g., democracy, health, education, safety, etc.). The spatial dimension of the social capital phenomenon is rarely analysed. Existing research either assumes a more disaggregated level of analysis, so that regional fluctuations in growth rates might be easier to identify and explain, for example, or assumes the existence of specific modes of organization and expression that are typical of small, usually isolated communities that struggle to cope with various socio-economic, political, and geomorphological disadvantages. Thus, it is most often the case that available research implicitly assumes regions to be the mere interface between national (macro) structures and the individual (micro structures). However, territories are not only a dimension that might be accounted for with appropriate data disaggregation. The regional level might well constitute “a meso level of the dynamic interplay” between macro- and micro-factors. This interplay shapes drastically the content of social capital as formed and exploited by actors at the regional level.

This Special Issue is intended to examine this interplay in order to provide deeper insights on the spatial dynamics of social capital as a sustainability mechanism. To that extent, the aim of this Special Issue is to generate new knowledge and insights as regards the spatial manifestations and effects of social capital in both urban and regional environments. The Guest Editor welcomes papers on all aspects related to the topic and invites all types of contributions, i.e., comprehensive reviews, case studies, or research articles.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Irene Daskalopoulou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Social capital
  • Trust
  • Associations
  • Norms/values
  • Territorial identities
  • Space
  • Urban/rural empowerment
  • Regional administration
  • Sustainable development

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Social Capital Typologies and Sustainable Development: Spatial Patterns in the Central and Southern Regions of Malawi
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9374; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159374 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
Bonding, bridging and linking social capital can be a useful mechanism to promote sustainable development in low-income countries. Social capital typologies vary spatially, with the rural poor having a specific combination. Similarly, bonding, bridging and linking social capital’s association with sustainable development is [...] Read more.
Bonding, bridging and linking social capital can be a useful mechanism to promote sustainable development in low-income countries. Social capital typologies vary spatially, with the rural poor having a specific combination. Similarly, bonding, bridging and linking social capital’s association with sustainable development is also likely to differ spatially across a country, but there is limited research in low-income countries. This study aims to improve understanding of the spatial variation of bonding, bridging and linking social capital in low-income countries using Malawi as a case study. Using secondary data and spatial statistics, including kriging and geographically weighted regression, we explore the spatial variation of social capital typologies and their spatial associations with various sustainable development indicators. There were three key combinations of bonding, bridging and linking social capital, which differ from the standard model of social capital typologies for the rural poor. We also found social capital’s association with sustainable development indicators depends on the social capital typology, study area and the sustainable development indicator in question. With this in mind, development practitioners, researchers and policymakers should aim to understand the specific social capital context prior to sustainable development research or project implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Capital and Sustainability: Spatial Evidence)
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Article
Through Sport to Innovation: Sustainable Socio-Economic Development in European Countries
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10489; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410489 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1492
Abstract
Using clustering and principal component analysis, we demonstrate that—at the national level in Europe—innovativeness correlates strongly to both social capital and participation in sport. In this aspect, countries such as the Scandinavian countries and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe differ visibly. [...] Read more.
Using clustering and principal component analysis, we demonstrate that—at the national level in Europe—innovativeness correlates strongly to both social capital and participation in sport. In this aspect, countries such as the Scandinavian countries and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe differ visibly. Referring to prior empirical research, we claim that a causal relation between sports, through social capital, and innovativeness can be established. In the context of social capital accumulation, we further discuss the role of sports clubs, often perceived as a socially intensive form of participation in sport, but most likely diminishing in this respect lately. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Capital and Sustainability: Spatial Evidence)
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Article
Does Social Capital Matter for Total Factor Productivity? Exploratory Evidence from Poland
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9978; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239978 - 29 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1830
Abstract
Two issues connected with sustainable development are analysed in this article: total factor productivity (TFP), which measures the efficiency of transforming physical capital and labour into production, and social capital, which is increasingly considered as a factor of TFP. TFP is sometimes viewed [...] Read more.
Two issues connected with sustainable development are analysed in this article: total factor productivity (TFP), which measures the efficiency of transforming physical capital and labour into production, and social capital, which is increasingly considered as a factor of TFP. TFP is sometimes viewed as a measure of sustainability, and its high value indicates an effective way of combining and using limited resources. Social capital, in turn, is a determining factor in the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of development. The subject of this analysis is the impact of social capital on TFP. Social capital generates synergistic effects and creates added value using the existing resources. Therefore, it is legitimate to regard it as one of the determinants of TFP. The role of social capital in sustainable development is theoretically grounded and confirmed by numerous empirical studies. Nevertheless, due to the deep dependence on the context, the mechanisms of the impact of this capital on economic effects are still not fully understood. In this paper, social capital is analysed in the context of the post-transformation economy. This context seems to be interesting for two reasons: the relative weakness of social capital in post-communist countries and extensive nature of development these countries have experienced in recent decades, which together can be a barrier to long-term growth in these economies. The purpose of the paper is to identify and assess the impact of social capital in Poland on TFP in a regional breakdown (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics II - NUTS II). The research period covers the years 2002–2016 and employs econometric modelling methods. Social capital turns out to be a factor in explaining the level of TFP in Polish regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Capital and Sustainability: Spatial Evidence)
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Article
Regional Social Capital and Economic Growth: Exploratory Evidence from Testing the Virtuous Spiral vs. Vicious Cycle Model for Greece
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6037; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156037 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1583
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to analyze social capital as a spatial resource that regions might use differently in their developmental process. We propose a theoretical framework in order to identify the different regional social capital workings as leading to either [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study is to analyze social capital as a spatial resource that regions might use differently in their developmental process. We propose a theoretical framework in order to identify the different regional social capital workings as leading to either an open system of relations (the virtuous social capital—development spiral) or to a rather closed system of relations (the vicious social capital—development cycle). At the empirical level, we test the presence of these two developmental paths by two operational hypotheses that are tested through the development and use of appropriate entropy technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) techniques. Our analysis involves an inclusive theorization of social capital as composed of trust, norms/values, and networks. Using individual and aggregate level economic indicators, we obtain different rankings of the Greek regions compared to the initial entropy weights rankings. Overall, our results provide support to the presence of both developmental paths in the case of Greece while the Greek regions might be categorized as dynamic, stagnant, and unstable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Capital and Sustainability: Spatial Evidence)
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Review

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Review
Social Entrepreneurship and Social Capital: A Review of Impact Research
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 4787; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15064787 - 08 Mar 2023
Viewed by 911
Abstract
This study analyzes social capital as a mediator/moderator of social value creation in social entrepreneurship (SE); thus, we adopted a mixed methods review that was performed in two stages. In the first stage, we overviewed the reviews in order to summarize key findings [...] Read more.
This study analyzes social capital as a mediator/moderator of social value creation in social entrepreneurship (SE); thus, we adopted a mixed methods review that was performed in two stages. In the first stage, we overviewed the reviews in order to summarize key findings from the analysis of social entrepreneurship. At this stage, the aim was to show the gap in the existing research, with an explicit focus on impact generation and measuring that impact within social enterprises. Then, we conducted a literature review focusing on studies that analyse the relationship between social entrepreneurship and social capital. Our assumption is that social capital is an impact generation mechanism that works at different interaction levels. Our analysis identifies three pathways which show how social entrepreneurship can have an impact, and how it can be generated by higher levels of social capital. These three pathways involve productivity, community resilience, and institutional development. The proposed classification of the empirically identified SE impact pathways offers insights that are useful to informing the available approaches concerning social impact creation and methods which approximate tangible SE outcomes. In addition, the mediator/moderator approach to social capital identifies these pathways as being complementary value creation processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Capital and Sustainability: Spatial Evidence)
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