Handbook of Social Capital

Handbook of Social Capital

The Troika of Sociology, Political Science and Economics

Elgar original reference

Edited by Gert Tingaard Svendsen and Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen

The Handbook of Social Capital offers an important contribution to the study of bonding and bridging social capital networks, balancing the ‘troika’ of sociology, political science and economics. Eminent contributors, including Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom, explore the different scientific approaches required if international research is to embrace both the bright and the more shadowy aspects of social capital. The Handbook stresses the importance of trust for economies all over the world and contains a strong advocacy for cross-disciplinary work within the social sciences.

Preface

Edited by Gert Tingaard Svendsen and Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory

Extract

In his utopian book The Glass Bead Game from 1946, Herman Hesse gives a detailed account of a truly interdisciplinary research community living in the remote mountain area of Castalia around the year 2400. Castalia is a contemplative and peace-loving community. Its members are truthseekers unconstrained by narrow disciplinary boundaries. Rather, they enjoy an ‘almost paradisal freedom’ and are able to ‘inform themselves in all sciences, mix the most diverging areas of study [and] fall in love with six or eight sciences at the same time’. In our view, this is exactly what social capital research is about: seeking the truth and becoming enamoured of many disciplines simultaneously, supported by complete mastery of one’s own field of endeavour. Excellent though it may be, no discipline should isolate itself from the rest of academia. Hence, the subtitle of the book, The Troika of Social Capital, suggests that more disciplines should play an active part in this interdisciplinary research agenda – and not just three, but six or eight sciences, or even more. This will allow even more sophisticated truth-seeking: something every scientist should aspire to achieve. We are most grateful to Edward Elgar Publishing for asking us to edit this handbook of interdisciplinary research on social capital. We hope the book will contribute to the academic and popular discussions of social capital and improve the quality of policy making across the world. Warmest thanks to our dynamic colleagues, who contributed to this volume. Without their help, it surely would not have been...