civic participation and soft social capital: evidence from Greece
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The study analyses the stock and the change of social capital in Greece at the onset of the economic crisis and tests for the effect of soft social capital elements on civic participation scores. Public servants are analysed separately as a potentially distinct group of citizens in terms of their civic engagement profile. At the empirical level, we identify social capital via the measurement of six main constructs, namely, social trust, social altruism, equality, tolerance, humanitarianism (soft social capital elements) and civic participation (a hard social capital element). Data are drawn from the European Social Value surveys Rounds 4 and 5. Results show that the country experienced a statistically significant decline in its social capital level during the 2008–2010 period, although public servants show higher (albeit also declining) levels of social capital. More importantly, soft social capital constructs do affect civic participation scores for the society as a whole but not for public servants.
Keywordscivic participation social capital civic culture trust public servants
The article has benefited from the insightful and constructive comments of a Journal’s Editor and of two anonymous Journal Reviewers. The usual disclaimer applies.
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