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Trust and community building in the Doñana (Spain) toxic spill disaster

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Appeals to public participation and, more generally, to a wider involvement of civic networks in the management of environmental conflicts are becoming more common after the difficulties that both the Market and the State appear to have in regulating these conflicts. The concern of this paper is with how central elements in civic society, such as interpersonal trust and community-building mechanisms, are influenced by environmental catastrophes. The case of the toxic spill disaster in Doñana, Spain, is presented in order to examine whether this accident had any effect on interpersonal trust and the mobilization of civic networks in the area. From the analysis, it can be concluded that involvement of civic networks in the management of these situations depends on the magnitude (real or perceived) of the disaster but also on the performance of public institutions regarding the event.

Keywords: Andalusia; Spain; social capital; toxic spills; trust

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain 2: Servei de Medi Ambient, Ajuntament de Granollers, 08400 Granollers, Spain 3: Comissió de Serveis Urbans i de Manteniment, Ajuntament de Barcelona, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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