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

The Politics of Good Neighbourhood
State, civil society and the enhancement of cultural capital in East Central Europe

ISBN 9781472422392
Published October 13, 2016 by Routledge
220 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

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


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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.


 "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.