Is social capital the `missing link' in economics? In this vital new book, the authors argue that the `forgotten' production factor of social capital is as crucial in economic decision-making as the other more traditional factors of production such as physical, financial and human capital. They attempt to bridge the gap between theory and reality by examining the main factors that determine entrepreneurship, co-operative movements and the creation and destruction of social capital.
To address the question of how social capital is created and destroyed, the authors develop an interdisciplinary approach combining political science, economics, anthropology, sociology and history. They show how bridging social capital enforces personal contact and acts as a lubricator for human co-operation, whereas bonding social capital enforces distance between people, increasing mistrust and, consequently, transaction costs. They demonstrate how entrepreneurship can facilitate voluntary collective action and create inclusive forms of social capital. Crucial in this respect is that entrepreneurs are motivated not only by economic incentives but also by social motives. Applying historical and contemporary case studies, they identify the serious human and economic consequences that result when social capital is disregarded. The authors believe that the implications of such a discovery demand a re-evaluation of traditional economic theory.
This book will contribute substantially to academic and popular debates on social capital and will be an invaluable source of reference for all social scientists. It will particularly appeal to students and scholars of public policy, economics, sociology, political science, anthropology and history.
Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen, Professor of Rural Sociology, University of Southern Denmark and Gert Tinggaard Svendsen, Professor of Comparative Politics, Aarhus University, Denmark
Contents: Preface Foreword by Elinor Ostrom 1. Introduction: The `Missing Link' 2. Social Capital and Entrepreneurship 3. Co-operative Movements and Social Capital in Denmark and Poland 4. Bridging Social Capital and Entrepreneurship in Rural Denmark 5. Bonding Social Capital and Centralization: The Post-War Danish Co-operative Movement 6. Bonding Social Capital and Theory Effects: The Danish Village Society Movement 7. Bonding and Bridging Social Capital: A Contemporary Fieldwork Study 8. Conclusion Bibliography Index