Social capital of rural territorial communities in Ukraine: problems of strengthening and directions of their solution

Keywords: decentralization, trust, communication networks, rural communities, social capital.


Purpose. The purpose of the article is to identify current problems of strengthening the social capital of rural territorial communities in the context of administrative and territorial reform with the definition of directions for their solution.

Methodology / approach. The paper uses general scientific methods of analysis and synthesis to collect, process, and systematize the results of scientific research; abstract-logical and critical analysis to identify possible risks due to the implementation of administrative-territorial reform; statistical for data collection and systematization; method of comparisons to identify the compliance of the dynamics of various forms of social capital to the potential of communities; graphic to visualize the results of the assessment of the new spatial configuration of socio-territorial communities and the dynamics of accumulation of various forms of social capital; correlation and regression analysis – to determine the impact of certain indicators of social capital development on the economy of rural communities; induction and deduction – to substantiate the main directions of social capital development of rural communities in modern conditions.

Results. Restrictions on the development of social capital accumulation have been identified, which include: shadowing of interaction and low trust in social institutions, individualization of behavioral strategies, growth of economically inactive and socially vulnerable groups, and formation of networks of discriminatory relationships, spreading of norms of destructive social behavior, as well as the risks that may arise in the new spatial configuration of socio-territorial communities. It is established that the administrative-territorial reform at the local level has created certain preconditions for strengthening the potential of horizontally and vertically integrating social capital. It was found that the dynamics of territorial identification of the population of Ukraine in relation to their community is negative and indicates low social capital at the local level. The dynamics of forms of horizontally integrating social capital of rural communities, which are represented by agricultural cooperatives, farms, and inter-community cooperation, are analyzed and it is found that the potential of their development in Ukraine has not been realized yet. The necessity of implementation of systemic decisions on the development of social capital of communities to achieve the main goals of decentralization of management is proved. The main directions of the development of social capital of rural communities are substantiated taking into account modern features of their development.

Originality / scientific novelty. The specifics of the formation of social capital of rural communities as small local communities are analyzed, taking into account the main determinants of influence, which include increasing territorial mobility and maintaining the asymmetry of spatial development in the direction of the center-periphery, the choice of adaptive behavioral strategies due to changes in the territorial identification of the population and the assessment of opportunities to achieve a certain level of well-being in the community. The main directions of social capital development as a prerequisite for uniting and mobilizing internal resources for rural development are substantiated based on existing problems and identified potential risks due to the reform of local self-government and territorial organization of government. Scientific and methodological bases of research on social capital at the local level under conditions of social and economic instability are improved.

Practical value / implications. The results of the study will be useful for local governments of territorial communities formed as a result of local government reform and territorial organization of government, as well as district and regional state administrations, which focus on promoting inclusive community development and self-sufficiency.


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How to Cite
Zaiats, T., Kraievska, H., & Diakonenko, O. (2022). Social capital of rural territorial communities in Ukraine: problems of strengthening and directions of their solution. Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, 8(2), 158-178.