Social capital as a development strategy

This paper Producing social capital as a development strategy: implications at the micro-level, written with colleagues at the Athena Institute at the VU University Amsterdam, has been published this month in Progress in Development Studies. Based on an analysis of the documentary evidence provided by theoretical perspectives and empirical studies, it looks at ways that it might be possible to reinforce social capital. Across countries and contexts, micro-credit, agricultural production and marketing, environmental protection and knowledge networking are linked to productive social capital. Four mechanisms to strengthen social capital are identified: structural opportunity to meet, ‘know-how’ of social interaction, sense of belonging and an ethos of mutuality. We envision that opportunities within the development practice exist to foster such mechanisms, and recommend in-depth studies to enhance our understanding of social capital production mechanisms.

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