The Politics of Good Neighbourhood: State, civil society and the enhancement of cultural capital in East Central Europe, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Politics of Good Neighbourhood

State, civil society and the enhancement of cultural capital in East Central Europe, 1st Edition

By Béla Filep


208 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138624177
pub: 2018-06-15
Hardback: 9781472422392
pub: 2016-10-06
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pub: 2016-10-04
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Analyzing neighbourly relations in multicultural societies, this book develops a concept of good neighbourhood and argues that cultural capital in various forms is the determining variable in building good-neighbourly relations. This work breaks new ground by offering a conceptual integration of different, mutually interdependent forms of capital: intercultural capital, cross- cultural social capital and multicultural capital. These forms of capital are linked to different educational and cultural policies of the state as well as to civil society involvement at different levels of implementation.

Grounded in extensive fieldwork, the book not only provides critical insights into neighbourly relations in culturally diverse border regions of East Central Europe, but the concept developed through a rich theoretical base can be usefully adapted and widely applied to other contexts.

Scholars and graduate- level students in geography, international relations, political science, social anthropology and sociology as well as policy practitioners with an interest in the negotiation of coexistence, minority issues and social and political cohesion in multicultural societies will find this an illuminating read.


"the book offers a positive perspective, a very necessary approach in times of withdrawal."

Franck Chignier-Riboulon, L’Espace Politique

"The book is well-structured and clear-cut. The number of illustrations and maps is well-balanced, and their quality is high. I recommend the volume for scholars interested in ethnic relations, reconciliation, as well as those interested in border cities and borderlands."

Péter Balogh, Hungarian Geographical Bulletin 66 (2017) (4) 369–375.

Table of Contents

Part I Towards a Concept of Good Neighbourhood

1. Introduction

2. Neighbours, Neighbourhoods, Neighbourly Relations

Part II Ethnicized Neighbourly Relations in East Central Europe 

3. Komárno/Komárom in Slovakia: ‘One Town, Two Nations’

4. Subotica/Szabadka: A Multi-Ethnic Oasis in Serbia 

Part III The Politics of Good Neighbourhood 

5. Intercultural Capital: Facilitating Communication, Raising Cross-Cultural Interest, Increasing Mutual Respect

6. Cross-Cultural Social Capital: Fostering Intercultural Encounters, Cross-Cultural Experiences and Social Networks    

7. Multicultural Capital: Expressing and Anchoring Mutual Respect, Recognition and Appreciation


About the Author

Béla Filep is Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Bern in Switzerland and specializes in inter-ethnic relations, border studies and East Central Europe.

About the Series

Border Regions Series

Border Regions Series
In recent years, borders have taken on an immense significance. Throughout the world they have shifted, been constructed and dismantled, and become physical barriers between socio-political ideologies. They may separate societies with very different cultures, histories, national identities or economic power, or divide people of the same ethnic or cultural identity. As manifestations of some of the world's key political, economic, societal and cultural issues, borders and border regions have received much academic attention over the past decade. This valuable series publishes high quality research monographs and edited comparative volumes that deal with all aspects of border regions, both empirically and theoretically. It will appeal to scholars interested in border regions and geopolitical issues across the whole range of social sciences.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography