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Social resilience during and after the crisis. The case of Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area in Poland
1  University of Gdańsk


Social resilience is defined as the ability of groups or communities to cope with external stresses and disturbances as a result of social, political and environmental change. Key determinants of social resilience are: livelihoods, i.e. human capital, participation, and social capital (social networks). As part of the social capital, linking capital is distinguished. It is defined as the relationship between individuals and government officials, leaders or human agents.

The author of this paper presents how regional and local agencies reacted to economic crisis and attempted to build social resilience in the context of labour market. The analysis is based on the results of a qualitative research for ESPON project entitled Economic Crisis: Resilience of Regions. Over 30 interviews with representatives of labour institutions, business chambers, NGOs, entrepreneurs, regional and local authorities were conducted.

The results show that the high adaptability and flexibility stem from the relatively high qualifications of population and flexible labour market. The common goals of human agents allowed to maintain jobs during the crisis and create new ones after it. Building consensus between business owners and employees and sharing risks turned out particularly important. The research demonstrates that reframe practice from taking care of companies' income to maintaining jobs was of great importance for the resilience. The paper presents also that enerepreneurial spirit, occupational mobility, self-reliance, flexibility and a lack of demanding attitude turned out significant and bridge social and human capital theory and practice.

Keywords: social resilience; labour market; metropoilitan area; human capital; social capital;
Comments on this paper
Noel Mark
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