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DTP2017 - Solidarity (wk5)

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Yvan Guichaoua

on 15 February 2017

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Transcript of DTP2017 - Solidarity (wk5)

Perspectives on Social Capital and 'Civil Society'

How did 'solidarity' (re-)surface in the field of development?
. SAPs' shock therapy. Unexpected outcomes and the need for safety nets

Late 1980s
. WB on the learning curve
Not happy with the state
Not happy with the liberalisation
Not happy with top-down approaches

A new area of intervention?
Civil society
--> promotion of participatory processes / deliberation / social capital (PRSPs, see http://goo.gl/eF5Oop)
Bringing the communities back in. Concepts
Social capital
according to WB: multifaceted object

Civil society
according to Bratton (1994): ‘Sphere of social interaction between the household and the state which is manifest in norms of community cooperation, structures of voluntary association, and networks of public communication’ (p. 2)

SC slightly more neutral than CS
Not the tyranny of the domestic cell
Not the greed of the market
Not the cynicism of politics

OK but can we really separate the good and bad sides sides of social connectedness?

The wheel reinvented?
Adam Smith
K. Polanyi
E. Durkheim
P. Bourdieu
An early sociological puzzle
The Gift (Marcel Mauss)
The triple obligation to
return. But i) not exactly the same amount and ii) later
Cooperation. Social Experiments
How 'generous' are you?
The Ultimatum Game
The Ultimatum Game
. Discussion
What is being measured exactly?
What explains variation?
homo oeconomicus
. A social construct: the product of market-based economy rather than universal behaviour?
The 'community' has no intrinsic quality
Another big finding. Less generosity towards
(another social construct)
SC and growth - Civicness in Italian industrial districts

SC and democracy - Kgotla meetings in Botswana
SC, risk-sharing and investment
SC and job search - Granovetter's strength of weak ties

SC and Conflicts -
Fearon & Laitin, Varshney

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it. (A. Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759)
How resilient is reciprocity? Explaining urban "anonymity" v rural "tight-knit communities"
Microlevel 'extractive' institutions
--> Bonding SC v Bridging SC
The benefits of vibrant social capital
Funerals in Abidjan
Rotating saving and credit associations
Even when membership is voluntary, CSOs are local
sources of power
, framed by collectively endorsed or disputed behavioural norms


(to name a few)
civil society has
no intrinsic value
(can be functional or not). Example: the myth of African solidarity --> exclusion can be brutal if you cannot meet your social obligations;
even where they exist, norms of cooperation may not resist stress caused by shocks (see
Civil society as contested political arena
(WDR 2017)
A bit of theory
Small, not always beautiful
going further: https://goo.gl/naWjdd
Measuring deviations from selfishness.
The Ultimatum Game
(Henrich et al.)
Play now!
1. What is the rationally optimal response?
2. Why would you reject an offer?
3. What is being measured exactly?
4. Imagine a research design testing factors affecting levels of offers
5. Are such designs helpful for development practitioners?

Going further

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