Social Capital and Civil Society, Issues 2000-2074

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International Monetary Fund, Mar 1, 2000 - Civil society - 18 pages
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Social capital is an instantiated informal norm that promotes cooperation between individuals. In the economic sphere it reduces transaction costs, and in the political sphere it promotes the kind of associational life that is necessary for the success of limited government and modern democracy. Although social capital often arises from iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma games, it also is a byproduct of religion, tradition, shared historical experience, and other types of cultural norms. Thus whereas awareness of social capital is often critical for understanding development, it is difficult to generate through public policy.
  

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About the author (2000)

Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama was born October 27, 1952 in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Fukuyama received his Bachelor of Arts degree in classics from Cornell University, where he studied political philosophy under Allan Bloom. He initially pursued graduate studies in comparative literature at Yale University, going to Paris for six months to study under Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida, but became disillusioned and switched to political science at Harvard University. There, he studied with Samuel P. Huntington and Harvey Mansfield, among others. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard for his thesis on Soviet threats to intervene in the Middle East. In 1979, he joined the global policy think tank RAND Corporation. Fukuyama was the Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University from 1996 to 2000. Until July 10, 2010, he was the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and Director of the International Development Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, located in Washington, D.C. He is now Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow and resident in the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Fukuyama is best known as the author of The End of History and the Last Man, in which he argued that the progression of human history as a struggle between ideologies is largely at an end, with the world settling on liberal democracy after the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Fukuyama predicted the eventual global triumph of political and economic liberalism. He has written a number of other books, among them Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity and Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. His latest work The Origins of Political Order: From Prehistoric Times to the French Revolution made Publisher's Weekly Best Seller's List for 2011.

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