1st Edition

Social Capital and European Democracy

    The authors of this work examine the dominant view that voluntary activity promotes social capital and hence good government, but also explore alternative models for the creation of social capital. Theoretical discussion is combined with detailed case studies to provide a new explanation of :
    * the origins and nature of social capital
    * its effects on political participation and policy-making
    * the role of the voluntary sector
    Contributors go on to examine the possibility that current changes in the voluntary sector may in fact undermine social capital and consider the consequences.
    This book is an important step forward in this rapidly growing field of research and adds a unique European perspective to a debate which has been largely US-focussed.

    PART I Theoretical perspectives on social capital 1. Social capital and democracy in modern Europe Kenneth Newton^E 2. The origins of social capital Paul Whiteley^E 3. Collective action theory and the analysis of social capital Jacint Jordana^E PART II Voluntary activity, participation and social capital - case studies of different countries 4. Civic engagement and volunteering in the Netherlands: a Putnamian analysis Joep de Hart and Paul Dekker^E 5. Contracting out of the participation function: social capital and checkbook participation William A. Maloney^E 6. Voluntary associations and social capital in Finland Martii Siisiäinen^E 7. The transformation of the voluntary sector in Norway: a decline in social capital Per Selle^E 8. Facets of social capital in new democracies: the formation and consequences of social capital in Spain Mariano Torcal and José Ramon Montero^E 9. The myth of American exceptionalism: a three-nation comparison of associational membership and social capital Dietlind Stolle and Thomas R. Rochon^E PART III 10. The political effects of social capital and moral behaviour in Anglo-American democracies Eric M. Uslaner^E 11. Social capital, active membership in voluntary associations and some aspects of political participation: an empirical case study Jaak B. Billiet and Bart Cambré^E


    Maraffi, Marco; Newton, Kenneth; Van Deth, Jan; Whiteley, Paul