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Participative environmental management and social capital in Poland

Author(s): A. Hunka | W. T. de Groot

Journal: Social Geography Discussions
ISSN 1816-1499

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 39;
Date: 2010;
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Eastern European countries, such as Poland, are often used as exemplary in social capital studies. Upon entering the European Union, the low social capital level in Poland posed problems with implementing new regulations, particularly in the environmental policy field. Environmental issues often present a high degree of complexity – and European legislation requires multi-stakeholder involvement in decision-making processes. Thus, the dilemma: on the one hand, there is a demand to engage and consult many actors; on the other hand, low social capital contributes to an administrative culture with a ubiquitous top-down approach taken by institutional decision-makers. The paper addresses this problem from the perspective of social capital theory. A study of administrative culture and decision-making processes shows the way decisions are currently made. We also propose a way to achieve more participative environmental management.
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