Beyond Tocqueville: Civil Society and the Social Capital Debate in Comparative Perspective

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Bob Edwards, Michael W Foley, Ph., Michael W. Foley, Mario Diani
UPNE, 2001 - Political Science - 340 pages
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Recent discussion about the role of civil society in democratic governance around the world and the decline of social capital in the US has raised pressing theoretical and empirical questions about the character of contemporary societies and the social and institutional correlates of sound and dynamic democracies. This debate has reached a North American and European audience that extends well beyond academia.

The predominant refrain in the debate, following Alexis de Tocqueville's 160-year-old analysis of democracy in America, attaches tremendous importance to the role of voluntary associations in contemporary democracies. Participation in such groups is said to produce social capital, often linked to high levels of social trust. Social capital in turn is conceived as a crucial national resource for promoting collective action for the common good.

Beyond Tocqueville presents 21 varied essays on how civic engagement and political and economic cooperation are generated in contemporary societies, linking theoretical discourse with public policy and actual behaviors.
 

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Contents

Social Capital Reconsidered
14
EditorsIntroduction
17
Civil Society and Political Institutionalization
32
Social Capital in an Antimodern Russia
56
Social Capital
70
Social Capital and the City
83
Editors Introduction
99
Economic Restructuring
112
National Social Movements
183
Social Capital as Social Movement Outcome
207
Editors Introduction
221
Religious Structures as a Source
235
Insights on Social Capital from
254
MARIO DIANI
266
Notes
281
Contributors List
319

Social Capital Cooperation and Economic Performance
125
Editors Introduction
139

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About the author (2001)

Bob Edwards is Assistant Professor of Sociology at East Carolina University. Michael W. Foley is Associate Professor of Politics at Catholic University of America. Mario Diani is Professor of Sociology at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

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