A causal model for creating public value (in institutional voids)—the case of Lesvos

The Greek island of Lesvos is a holiday destination that became the main entry point for forced migrants to Europe during 2015 and 2016. These circumstances of disruptive societal change are used as the basis for developing a causal and dynamic model that creates public value in institutional voids.

The clash between a holiday location and a humanitarian-ecological disaster and the fact that volunteers were the frontline response at the border of the EU in a politically complex situation made this, at the time, a very special case. The attention of celebrities and the media, Lesvos’ geographical proximity to Turkey, the historical conflicts between the two neighbouring countries, the lack of interaction between local people and the involvement of international NGOs spurred conflicts between various actors, causing social fragmentation on the island.

The model identifies the core aspects of strengthening social capital and building trust to counter such societal fragmentation. Following Archer’s morphogenetic approach as a meta-concept, and the identification of causalities for understanding the social dynamics on Lesvos as a starting point, an extended version of Moore’s public value concept was used to build the empirical basis for the development of the model. [...] Although the paper draws on a case study that is relevant to migration studies, it is not a migration study, but rather an attempt to use and improve “social-theory reflection” by applying a systems thinking approach as we embark on addressing public value creation, social problems and social-systems transformation (in institutional voids).


Use and reproduction:

CC BY 4.0

Please note that individual components of the publication may be subject to other licensing or copyright conditions.


Citation style:
Could not load citation form.