RESEARCH PAPER
Institutionalization of Social Space by Public Goods
 
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Publish date: 2014-10-31
 
Gospodarka Narodowa 2014;273(5):29–52
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ABSTRACT
The article focuses on what the author defines as the destruction of social space—understood as an area of collective functioning for individuals and larger groups of people within organized entities. The destruction of social space is the result of breaking rules governing the institutional order, both formal and informal, the author argues. This leads to various dysfunctions such as distrust, fear and greed. The process of destroying social space is a common phenomenon in the wake of globalization and the IT revolution, according to Kleer. Social space is being destroyed mainly due to the emergence of a uniform pattern of governance in the form of a free­‑market economy and the existence of diversified political, social and cultural systems in various countries, the author says. In the early 1990s, a mostly successful attempt was made to impose a unified model of development based on the neo‑liberal theory, Kleer notes, adding that this model is largely responsible for the progressive destruction of social space. The process of destroying social space is taking place at the global and national levels, according to the author. At the global level, this is reflected by a lack of global order and different types of competition. At the national level, the process has been more diverse. At both levels, the process results in breaking the existing institutional and legal order, Kleer says. The destruction of social space at the global level has a substantial impact on what happens at the national level, though internal factors play a key role, the author argues. He adds that the process of destroying social space is reflected in major income disparities, job market problems, a substantially reduced supply of public goods, dubious ties between politics and business, and corruption. The concept of global public goods could help restore order to the social sphere, according to Kleer. This could be a multi­‑stage process based on ideologically neutral global goods complying with the rules of a free­‑market economy, the author argues. He adds that participation in this process should be voluntary and initially dominated by whole countries rather than smaller entities.
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