9780195171600

Democracies in Flux The Evolution of Social Capital in Contemporary Society

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780195171600

  • ISBN10:

    0195171608

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-03-26
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

In his national bestseller Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam illuminated the decline of social capital in the US. Now, in Democracies in Flux, Putnam brings together a group of leading scholars who broaden his findings as they examine the state of social capital in eight advanced democracies aroundthe world. The book is packed with many intriguing revelations. The contributors note, for instance, that waning participation in unions, churches, and political parties seems to be virtually universal, a troubling discovery as these forms of social capital are especially important for empowering lesseducated, less affluent portions of the population. Indeed, in general, the researchers found more social grouping among the affluent than among the working classes and they find evidence of a younger generation that is singularly uninterested in politics, distrustful both of politicians and ofothers, cynical about public affairs, and less inclined to participate in enduring social organizations. Yet social capital appears as strong as ever in Sweden, where 40% of the adult population participate in "study circles"--small groups who meet weekly for educational discussions. Social capital--good will, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse--is vitally important both for the health of our communities and for our own physical and psychological well being. Offering a panoramic look at social capital around the world, this book makes an important contribution to ourunderstanding of these phenomena and why they are important in today's world.

Author Biography


Robert D. Putnam is Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is the founder of the Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement and author of the best-selling Bowling Alone.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION 3(18)
Robert D. Putnam and Kristin A. Goss
1 GREAT BRITAIN 21(38)
The Role of Government and the Distribution of Social Capital
Peter A. Hall
2 UNITED STATES 59(44)
Bridging the Privileged and the Marginalized?
Robert Wuthnow
3 UNITED STATES 103(34)
From Membership to Advocacy
Theda Skocpol
4 FRANCE 137(52)
Old and New Civic and Social Ties in France
Jean-Pierre Worms
5 A DECLINE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL? 189(56)
The German Case
Claus Offe and Susanne Fuchs
6 FROM CIVIL WAR TO CIVIL SOCIETY 245(44)
Social Capital in Spain from the 1930's to the 1990's
Victor Perez-Diaz
7 SWEDEN 289(44)
Social Capital in the Social Democratic State
Bo Rothstein
8 AUSTRALIA 333(26)
Making the Lucky Country
Eva Cox
9 BROADENING THE BASIS OF SOCIAL CAPITAL IN JAPAN 359(34)
Takashi Inoguchi
CONCLUSION 393(24)
Robert D. Putnam
NOTES 417(76)
CONTRIBUTORS 493(4)
INDEX 497

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