On 10th July 2020, a ceremony was held in the Croatian National and University Library on awarding grant agreements within the Croatian Science Foundation Thematic Call “Infectious Diseases Caused by Corona Viruses and the Social and Educational Aspects of the Pandemic” (IP-CORONA-20202-04). Out of two projects submitted by the ISRZ researchers, the project led by Dr. Branko Ančić titled “The social resilience of Croatian society in the midst and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic“ was awarded a grant. The event was attended by the project leader and the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb Director Dr. Dinka Marinović Jerolimov, with principal investigators of other 10 projects awarded within the same call, accompanied by directors of their institutions. The ceremony was attended by the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Special Advisor of the Croatian Premier for Social Matters prof. Zvonko Kusić, Minister of Science and Education Blaženka Divjak, President of the Parliament Committee for Education, Science and Culture Dr. Irena Petrijevčanin Vuksanović and representatives of the Croatian Science Foundation, led by the President of the Managing Board and full member of the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts prof. Dario Vretenar.
Along with ISRZ researchers Dr. Marija Brajdić Vuković, Dr. Adrijana Šuljok and Dr. Lana Peternel, a total of 21 researchers from 10 institutes and universities from Croatia and abroad will collaborate on this project.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its strategies of containment raise the question of what enhances the capacities of individuals, groups and organizations, or society in general, to deal with threats and negative effects more competently? The main research goal of this project is to explore the features of social resilience in Croatian society in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate aftermath. Social resilience is understood as a concept that encapsulates individuals, organizations and communities (or society per se) and their abilities and capacities to absorb, cope with and adjust to threats which can be social and/or environmental in nature. Social resilience is the ability of a society to withstand external shocks to its social infrastructure. In this project we will have three research streams (RS) which will explore three determinants of social resilience: (RS1) social relationships and network structures; (RS2) knowledge, narratives and media frames; (RS3) social metabolism and institutional capacities. Since social resilience is a multidimensional concept it requires an interdisciplinary approach and analyses of various scales and empirical sources. In this project we will be drawing on sociological concepts, but also bringing them together with insights from political economy and ecological economics. We will also be drawing on existing data and research instruments whilst building on them and enriching them. Different methods will be combined: interviews, observations, questionnaires and analysis of secondary data. Our respondents will be the general public, but also experts, politicians and activists. An overarching outcome of our analyses will be to have a better understanding of the coping, adaptive and transformative capacities of Croatian society during a crisis situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Empirical insights into different facets of social resilience in Croatia would be coherently represented in visual (i.e. Sustainability Doughnut visualisation of overall social resilience), analytical and narrative frames. This project will result in a better understanding of the social governance of epidemiological resilience and the socio-cultural and institutional adaptation to 21st century-specific development constraints. Therefore, the project will be of interest to policy-makers and civil society organizations in terms of its specific recommendations on measures which can be taken, particularly in relation to strengthening social capital, crisis communication and broader environmental and economic concerns, with the purpose of strengthening Croatia’s social resilience.
Published: July 13, 2020