By Laura K. Graham
Drawing on classes from civil society in Northern eire, past Social Capital examines the restrictions of social capital idea in deeply divided societies and advances a reconceptualization of the bonding-bridging distinction.
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Extra info for Beyond Social Capital: The Role of Leadership, Trust and Government Policy in Northern Ireland's Victim Support Groups
CONCLUSION In this chapter, I have presented the four main discourses on civil society in the literature, providing conceptual clarity for the concept, and developing a working definition that supports the examination of social capital that follows in the remaining chapters of this book. In doing so, I have investigated the role of civil society during times of conflict and peace, and revealed the link between civil society and social capital. I have advanced the argument that a strong and vibrant civil society—the so-called civil society argument (see Walzer 1992)—is not an adequate indicator of the kinds of social capital that increase trust, social cohesion, tolerance, and other “goods” (Chambers and Kopstein 2001) that are usually found in civic associations.
The notion that civil society plays a role in peacebuilding stems from three ideas, according to Van Leeuwen and Verkoren (2012:82): (1) that civil society provides an alternative way to manage group conflicts (Cousens et al. 2001:12; Woodward 2007); (2) that civil society could act as a monitor and advocate for human rights, and (3) that civil society could bridge polarized groups, promote dialogue and reconciliation between former antagonists (OECD/DAC 1997). The latter discourse is what has inspired much of the debate on social capital’s transformative potential and is a key focus of this book.
20 LAURA K. GRAHAM Definitions and Components of Social Capital: Networks, Trust, and Reciprocity Social capital, as a concept, is often described as a resource that individuals and groups possess based on the trust and norms of reciprocity that accumulate within their social networks (see Bourdieu 1986; Coleman 1988; Putnam et al. 1993; Putnam 2000, 2007). In short, social capital can be understood as a resource similar to other forms of capital: economic, human, and cultural. ” Similarly, Coleman (1988:98) defined social capital as a resource that is made available to an individual through their social networks and the social activities within their networks.
Beyond Social Capital: The Role of Leadership, Trust and Government Policy in Northern Ireland's Victim Support Groups by Laura K. Graham