Conflict as a differentiating factor in the creation of social capital among youth in Serbia and Poland

Konflikt jako czynnik różnicujący tworzenie się kapitału społecznego wśród młodych w Serbii i Polsce

Jelena Lončar

ORCID: Jelena Lončar: 0000-0002-2374-872X

Zuzanna Sielska

ORCID: Zuzanna Sielska: 0000-0003-1885-0313

Afiliacja: University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland

Pages: 161-182

Edition: Lublin 2022


Citation method: Z. Sielska, J. Lončar, Conflict as a differentiating factor in the creation of social capital among youth in Serbia and Poland, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 20(2022), z. 1, s. 161-182, DOI:

Keywords: , , ,

Abstract: This paper analyses how conflict impacts social capital. The existing literature suggests that the social capital of a society which has experienced conflict or military operations will not be shaped in the same way as the social capital in an area where there were no such actions. Yet, there is disagreement on what the specific effects of a conflict are. This paper seeks to address this puzzle by comparing levels of social capital in Serbia and Poland. The research presented in this paper was conducted among two groups; the first, a group of respondents including young Serbs (18-24 years old) who, during the 1990s, survived hostilities on the territory of their country or grew up surrounded by people who were participating in military actions. The second group includes young Poles (aged 18-24), who as children, grew up in a society, which from 1995-2002 did not experience either conflict or military action. Significant research results include the following: in a society in which no conflict has occurred in the past, there is a higher level of social and political participation; the formation of bridging communities, trust in social actors from outside the immediate family, trust in institutions, and a greater sense of security in the neighbourhood.


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