The Troika of Sociology, Political Science and Economics
Edited by Gert Tingaard Svendsen and Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen
Robert Chase and Rikke Nørding Christensen 24.1 Introduction The large amount of literature on social capital shows that, while the concept is multidimensional and its characteristics vary by context, social capital is a valuable development asset. Thus, many development activities seek to enhance it. This chapter presents evidence on how to build and enhance social capital by investigating whether and how certain World Bank operations enhance social capital. Social capital is in broad terms deﬁned by the World Bank as ‘the norms and networks that enable collective action’. Social capital is a concept with broad intuitive and operational appeal. Social capital is a vital yet underappreciated development asset, which refers to a class of assets that inhere in social relationships, such as social bonding and bridging, makes those with access to it more eﬀective and can be enhanced for lasting eﬀects. As a rubric encompassing many institutional characteristics important for development eﬀorts success or failure, social capital represents an important asset for practitioners to understand and enhance. Further, evidence from many diﬀerent contexts suggests communities and individuals, who are better endowed with social capital, enjoy better services, more eﬀective governance and improved welfare. Certain mechanisms in development operations seek to enhance and build social capital. The World Bank’s growing portfolio of communitydriven development (CDD) operations have been associated with building social capital. A recent World Bank study ‘Thailand Social Capital Evaluation (2006)’ ﬁnds that indicators of social capital diﬀer signiﬁcantly...
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