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The Utility of Bonding Social Capital
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2005 (English)In: Journal of Civil Society, ISSN 1744-8689, E-ISSN 1744-8697, Vol. 1, no 1, 75-95 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In most studies of social capital, bridging social capital is emphasized as ‘good’ for democracy and economic performance. It is rarer to find studies showing that bonding social capital can bring positive effects. Mostly, bonding social capital is either overlooked or depicted as the ‘villain’ that leads to ethnic conflict, intolerant behaviour and poor economic and democratic development. In this article, it is argued that this picture needs to be revised. If we assume that bonding trust is a negative force for development and democracy, we ignore a substantial portion of the political history of the West. Also, new empirical evidence from India suggests that bonding social capital is related to good governance. High levels of bonding trust cannot only facilitate political cooperation. They may also work as a shield against public sector employees who attempt to exploit citizens in a corrupt or clientelistic manner. The conclusion drawn in the article is that the view of social capital as a prime mover with inherent normatively attractive qualities should give way to a perspective where social capital is more properly regarded as an intermediate variable where the way it is combined with, or interacts with, other factors determines outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 1, no 1, 75-95 p.
Keyword [en]
Social capital, governance, democracy, community, social development
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-84082DOI: 10.1080/17448680500210680OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-84082DiVA: diva2:111990
Available from: 2006-11-13 Created: 2006-11-13 Last updated: 2012-01-17Bibliographically approved

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Widmalm, Sten
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