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The purpose of this study is to focus on the development experience in the global world of two small communities, Viimsi in Estonia and Magog in South Africa. These two…
The purpose of this study is to focus on the development experience in the global world of two small communities, Viimsi in Estonia and Magog in South Africa. These two communities were chosen as exemplars because the authors were familiar with both, and understood them to be illustrative of differing outcomes of interaction of small communities with the global economy offering the prospect of generalisation of findings to the framework and theory. Twenty years ago, both were poor, since then Viimsi has become wealthy, while Magopa remains poor. It is not believed that becoming the wealthiest community in Estonia was Viimsi’s per-determined destiny. What people of Viimsi did to make their community a success relative to the surrounding peer communities is a story of the visible as much as the invisible attributes.
These attributes are examined using a framework the authors’ originally developed to explore the participation of Indigenous communities in the global economy in pursuit of development as they defined it. A thorough investigation was done on the interactions among various community stakeholder groups in an attempt to describe the social fabric of these two communities, and this was used to explain why Viimsi was able to take advantage of globalisation, when Magopa was not.
While it will be hard, no doubt, to translate all the success attributes of Viimsi to a different location and time, some of the lessons that were uncovered from the study are universal in nature, making them potentially useable for other small communities trying to find their way in the global world.
Studying only two communities means that the generalisation of the findings is limited to theory. None can be made directly to the population of similar communities, except indirectly through exploration using the theory being developed to test its validity in other circumstances.
The findings from this paper will increase the understanding of the factors that contribute the a community’s success of lack of, in participating in the global economy.
This is an under-researched area within development literature.
The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative study of economic development attempts to uncover the critical factors behind the recent economic rise of Viimsi…
The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative study of economic development attempts to uncover the critical factors behind the recent economic rise of Viimsi, Estonia, to that of the wealthiest community in the country.
The roles of and interactions among various community stakeholder groups are explored through two sets of resident surveys. From these surveys, and a rich set of secondary material, a narrative emerges as to the factors behind Viimsi's success since 1991, when Estonia regained its independence from the former Soviet Union and its system of economic central planning.
It was found that among the key components explaining why Viimsi has become the wealthiest community in Estonia are its extraordinary openness in embracing the market system, combined with a consensus‐based plan among community stakeholders on balanced development, a dependable government, and a level of solidarity among fellow residents in facing change.
This paper describes one small community's experience in the global world, and offers observations on successful strategies for a community navigating in it.