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Current interest in the concept of social capital stems largely from empirical studies of civil society, voluntary organizations and democratic institutions in the developed world. Of late, researchers working on problems of economic development, poverty and governance in developing countries have also begun to use the concept in order to understand the institutional variables required for sustained development and democratic governance. However, despite its increasing popularity, a great deal of confusion still surrounds the concept. Bringing together perspectives from the fields of development studies and the political theory of institutions, this important volume provides a critical analysis of social capital and helps to clarify the concept. Based on studies of social capital and civil society in Scandinavia, India, Italy, and the Netherlands, the contributors test the robustness of the concept in different contexts within a broad comparative framework. Combining quantitative and qualitative as well as empirical and conceptual approaches, this volume explores a number of central issues related to social capital.Among these are: " Whether Western notions of associations and civil society can be applied universally or whether a new taxonomy is required which can work across polities and cultures. " Can social capital adequately explain regional differences in economic success? " The problem of social trust in relation to the overall institutional environment. " Whether social trust and capital accumulated in one associational domain can be transferred to other contexts. " The manner in which social capital affects development performance, and the importance of agency in development efforts. " The role of new information and communication technologies as sources and sites for social capital. With its original research, comparative approach, conceptual innovations, and numerous fresh insights, this book will be of considerable interest to all those studying political science, development studies, sociology, and civil society.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780761996903
ISBN-10: 0761996907
Format: Hardback
(215mm x 139mm x 20mm)
Pages: 315
Imprint: SAGE Publications Inc
Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc
Publish Date: 14-Apr-2004
Country of Publication: United States

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