Civil society in the South Caucasus: kinship networks as obstacles to civil participation

Aliyev, H. (2014) Civil society in the South Caucasus: kinship networks as obstacles to civil participation. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 14(2), pp. 263-282. (doi: 10.1080/14683857.2014.904545)

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The research to date on informal networks of the post-communist South Caucasus has tended to focus either on the informal institutions’ role in providing social safety nets for the population or on the networks’ economic functions. This article examines the impact of informal kinship networks on participation in organized civil society in the present-day Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In order to explore how kinship institutions affect membership in civil society organizations across the South Caucasus, this research builds on a variety of primary and secondary sources. The findings of this study reveal that kinship-based networks serve as a significant source of social capital in the South Caucasus: they offer social support to their members and encourage intra-network bonding, making participation in civil society unattractive. However, the prevalence of kinship networks does not significantly affect popular attitudes towards organized civil society and the reliance on kinship structures is not seen as substitute for membership in formal civil society.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Aliyev, Dr Huseyn
Authors: Aliyev, H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Southeast European and Black Sea Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN (Online):1743-9639
Published Online:02 March 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 14(2): 263-282
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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