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The small projects fund and social capital formation in the Polish-German border region: an initial appraisal

Mirwaldt, Katja (2009) The small projects fund and social capital formation in the Polish-German border region: an initial appraisal. Regional Studies (68). pp. 259-272. ISSN 0034-3404

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Abstract

This paper examines the small projects fund, an EU funded initiative to promote good citizen relations across borders.The paper presents the fund as an attempt to foster 'social capital', that is social trust and citizen networks, in the Polish-German border region. The fund is examined in the light of seven conditions of social capital formation. In the Polish-German border region, the fund scores well on the first on the first four conditions that are related to the promotion of individual trust. It performs less well on the three conditions for scaling up individual trust to form social capital. However, it remains to be seen whether small project support can deliver improved citizen relations.