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CLOSING THE GAP BETWEEN FORMAL AND INFORMAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE BALKANS

Objective

"Southeast Europe has seen a century of continuous transformation and “transition” – the disappearance and emergence of states, political and legal systems, ideologies, institutions, and social classes. This has been accompanied by a stability of social practices resistant to change. Shaken by radically changing ideological and legal structures, citizens rely on customary and informal social networks of kin, symbolic kin, and friends for meeting economic needs, and on clan- or kin-related structures rather than the rule of law for security and protection. We trace the persistence of informal practices to: 1) the external origin of major transformations, including the “transitions” to and from socialism; 2) the incomplete character of change, which has tended to be replaced by equally radical but diametrically opposed projects; 3) the development of a buffer culture based on informal practices, directed to enabling people to survive under unstable conditions; and 4) the widening gap between formal institutions and informal social practices.
The distance between proclaimed goals and existing practices represents the key challenge to the European integration of Balkan societies. The integration process could end with superficial change, behind which the ""real"" social life of corruption, clientelism, tension, inequality, and exclusion will continue to unfold. We propose to explicate the key formal and informal “rules of the game”, and to identify and decipher the ""unwritten rules"" which underpin tactical maneuvering between formal and informal institutions, in various spheres and at various levels of social life. These would then be compared to the demands and recommendations laid out in the key EU documents outlining expectations from Southeast European states. The goal is to contribute to the formulation of policy recommendations which would aim not to eradicate informal practices, but to close the gap between formal and informal institutions in Balkan societies."

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/social problems/corruption
  • /social sciences/law
  • /social sciences/sociology/ideologies

Call for proposal

H2020-INT-SOCIETY-2015
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 623 306,50

Participants (8)

INSTITUT ZA ETNOLOGIJU I FOLKLORISTIKU
Croatia
EU contribution
€ 225 775
Address
Subiceva 42
10 000 Zagreb
Activity type
Research Organisations
UNIVERZA V MARIBORU
Slovenia
EU contribution
€ 244 325
Address
Slomskov Trg 15
2000 Maribor
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
CENTAR ZA INTRADISCIPLINARNA PRIMIJENJENA DRUSTVENA ISTRAZIVANJA
Bosnia and Herzegovina
EU contribution
€ 250 800
Address
Fikreta Ploce No 26
71000 Sarajevo
Activity type
Research Organisations
CENTER FOR EMPIRICAL CULTURAL STUDIES OF SOUTH EAST EUROPE
Serbia
EU contribution
€ 254 425
Address
Patrisa Lumumbe 3/10
18000 Nis
Activity type
Research Organisations
INSTITUT ZA DEMOKRATIJA SOCIETAS CIVILIS SKOPJE
North Macedonia
EU contribution
€ 243 925
Address
Miroslav Krleza 52 1-2
1000 Skopje
Activity type
Research Organisations
QENDRA E KERKIMEVE HISTORIKE DHE ANTROPOLOGJIKE
Albania
EU contribution
€ 161 075
Address
Rr. Shinasi Dishnica Nr. 16
1000 Tirana
Activity type
Research Organisations
SOCIAL RESEARCH KOSOVA LLC
Kosovo
EU contribution
€ 176 075
Address
Str Eduard Lir 50/19
10000 Pristina
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
RIGAS STRADINA UNIVERSITATE
Latvia
EU contribution
€ 306 625
Address
Dzirciema Street 16
1007 Riga
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments