Institutional Capital: Building Post-communist Government Performance

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University Press of America, 2005 - Political Science - 252 pages
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Institutional Capital was inspired by the coincidence of two events, the end of communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the publication of Robert Putnam's Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (1992). While the author, Laura Brunell, agrees with Putnam's argument that healthy stocks of social capital make democracies work, she argues that building institutional capital is most crucial for post-Communist government performance. Institutional Capital documents and explores the new forms of relationships developing between local governments and organized elements of civil society in post-Communist Poland. Using Krakow and Lodz as her cases, Dr. Brunell shows that specific cities are not simply high or low performing regimes. Rather, each city's distinct stock of institutional capital either hampers or enhances its performance in three areas: economic development planning, relocating waste disposal sites, and providing services to victims of domestic violence. The book highlights the importance of civil society in democratization.

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About the author (2005)

Laura Brunell received her B.A. in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government from American University, in Washington, D.C., and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1995-96 to study the development of civil society in post-Communist Poland. She is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington.

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