Institutional traps inhibit severely economic development. It is indisputable that Southern Italy finds itself in an underdevelopment and ‘institutional trap;’ i.e., it is trapped in a condition in which social exclusion persists, productive factors are underused and inefficient yet stable norms of behavior prevail. This situation is in part determined by the agglomeration effect produced by other more developed regions, to where qualified labour and talented people are more attracted. In addition, some observe that local elites are incapable of making public decisions in favour of the collective interest because of their inefficiency or unwillingness to reduce short-term advantage (e.g., re-election, bribes, control over public resources). Lack of trust, weakened participation and disregard of rules then cause underdevelopment. Modern development theories suggest that, if endogenous change does not happen spontaneously, underdevelopment can be exogenously challenged by actions that induce discontinuity (see Barca, 2010; 2011a; 2011b). Other scholars (Polterovich, 2008) suggest exploring the role of civil society institutions as their lacking is considered a main cause of the persistence of institutional traps. The EuroSouth HUB in Siracusa, Italy (Sicily) is a community initiative that seeks to disseminate social innovation. The initiavive is located in the historical city centre of Ortigia. Using a case-study research design and analysis on The HUB in Siracusa, Sicily, this paper lays out a rich demonstration of the role of the third sector. EuroSouth HUB is financed by public funds but managed by committed local community of social innovators and supported by an international network. The paper describes and explains its relationship to exogenously inducing a break, or discontinuity, in local behavioral patterns of citizens, consumers, entrepreneurs, and politicians in order to overcome the local underdevelopment ‘trap.’

Building Social Capital to Foster Local Development: The Experience of Opening a Hub in Siracusa

RIZZA, MARIA
2013

Abstract

Institutional traps inhibit severely economic development. It is indisputable that Southern Italy finds itself in an underdevelopment and ‘institutional trap;’ i.e., it is trapped in a condition in which social exclusion persists, productive factors are underused and inefficient yet stable norms of behavior prevail. This situation is in part determined by the agglomeration effect produced by other more developed regions, to where qualified labour and talented people are more attracted. In addition, some observe that local elites are incapable of making public decisions in favour of the collective interest because of their inefficiency or unwillingness to reduce short-term advantage (e.g., re-election, bribes, control over public resources). Lack of trust, weakened participation and disregard of rules then cause underdevelopment. Modern development theories suggest that, if endogenous change does not happen spontaneously, underdevelopment can be exogenously challenged by actions that induce discontinuity (see Barca, 2010; 2011a; 2011b). Other scholars (Polterovich, 2008) suggest exploring the role of civil society institutions as their lacking is considered a main cause of the persistence of institutional traps. The EuroSouth HUB in Siracusa, Italy (Sicily) is a community initiative that seeks to disseminate social innovation. The initiavive is located in the historical city centre of Ortigia. Using a case-study research design and analysis on The HUB in Siracusa, Sicily, this paper lays out a rich demonstration of the role of the third sector. EuroSouth HUB is financed by public funds but managed by committed local community of social innovators and supported by an international network. The paper describes and explains its relationship to exogenously inducing a break, or discontinuity, in local behavioral patterns of citizens, consumers, entrepreneurs, and politicians in order to overcome the local underdevelopment ‘trap.’
978-88-6242-084-6
Social capital; Trust; Development
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/60734
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