chapter  11
Social capital in Poland
ByJerzy Bartkowski
Pages 16

Weakness of social capital is one of the most important obstacles to the current development of Eastern and Central European countries. Lack of social capital is one of the main reasons for the under-utilization of new opportunities by them, after poverty and lack of resources. The source of the low level of social capital in this part of Europe is a mixture of communist legacy and backwardness in social development. Progress in transformation means not only the introduction of new economic, social, and political institutions, but also the enriching and strengthening of social capital. On the other hand, the process of transition is in some ways contradictory and may affect negatively some forms of social capital. Also the main political danger to transformation, namely political populism, is often a result of the combination of low social capital and negative social effects of the transformation.