WIT Press

Social Capital As An Explanatory Variable: Explaining The Differential Socio-economic Performance In Two Mountainous Rural Areas In Greece


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P. Karametou & C. D. Apostolopoulos


The current transition of mountain environments with respect to environmental change, demographic, socio-economic and political transformations make them particularly sensitive or vulnerable to climatic, economic or other drastic changes. Nevertheless, all these areas do not present the same socio-economic performance and are not equally vulnerable to this transition process. Many works in rural development have emphasised the key role of social capital in order to explain the differential economic performance, social development and vulnerability between areas in different territorial levels. The purpose of this study is to analyse the degree to which the presence of social capital can affect the developmental processes and the potential of the local economies and interpret the differential economic performance in Greek rural areas. More specifically, two mountainous areas will be selected: the mountainous area of Pelion (Region of Thessaly, Prefecture of Magnesia) and the mountainous area of Zagori (Region of Epirus, Prefecture of Ioannina). So, what is most important in this study is to investigate social capital not only as a dependent variable but also as an explanatory variable that can contribute to the understanding of the specific socio-economic outcome of the aforementioned case study areas. Keywords: Zagori, Pelion, Greek mountainous rural areas, social capital.


Zagori, Pelion, Greek mountainous rural areas, social capital.