Developmental Programs in Local Communities
This article analyses the impact of developmental programmes on social integration in two Hungarian small towns. It studies changing patterns of social integration in two settlements sharing similar endowments, with respect to a middle-sized Roma population living in segregated neighbourhoods. Drawing on recent studies in economic sociology, social integration is used as a proxy for socio-economic development and explained by differences in the transformation of local institutions. Divergences in institutional change influence the innovation capacity of communities and institutional change distributes authority among a variety of local and central state, non-state, for- profit and non-profit actors providing space for their association and forming the basis of an integrated local community. The main aim of the study is mapping the factors and mechanisms that shape and generate institutional change in support of social cohesion and development. Our cases explore that in the absence of such institutions, public goods are more likely to be appropriated by incumbents, which hinders the evolution of innovative solutions to socio-economic problems and weakens the developmental capacities of communities.
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