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Theory of Social Capital, Democracy and Democratization

  • Hewa Haji KhedirEmail author
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Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)

Abstract

This chapter maps the theoretical terrain of social capital theory by examining its assumptions and the ways through which it influences democracy and democratization. In so doing, the chapter commences by situating social capital in the framework of political culture in a bottom-up approach, as opposed to top-down (mainly constitutional engineering), to understand transitions to democracy. Distinction has been made between democracy in its transitional phase and democracy in its consolidated form. In covering the bottom-up approach to democracy, major contributions of Robert D. Putnam to the theory of social capital and functioning of democracy and democratic governance were devoted a substantial space in this chapter. In spite of the centrality of Putnam’s version of social capital theory, criticism of Putnam has been addressed in some details. As Putnam, especially in his Making Democracy Work (1993), utilizes social capital in understanding the functioning of already democratic governments, the chapter sets the ground to scrutinize the appropriateness of his theory to analyze democracy in its transitional phase, the way it is employed in this book. With the hope of originality in mind, the chapter concludes by a discussion of existing literature on the political developments of KRI to conclude that literature has left a significant room for students of social capital, political culture and civil society to offer alternative/complementary insights into transition to democracy in KRI.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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