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The Rise and Fall of Social Capital: Requiem for a Theory?

Abstract : We distinguish between social capital theory and social capital political discourse in order to reflect upon their relation with one another and neoliberalism. We claim this analytical distinction is useful to understand the existence of a feedback effect between theory and political discourse. During the 1990s, the connection between social capital theory and neoliberalism has been transposed from academia to political discourse, thus contributing to popularise social capital within the public sphere. Over time, however, rising economic inequalities (exacerbated by the recent economic crises) have demonstrated that the neoliberal political agenda is incompatible with the aim to generate social capital. Focusing on the critical case of Britain, we argue that the rapid demise of the Big Society idea might signal a corresponding decline of social capital theory within academia.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 18, 2022 - 12:15:49 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 2, 2022 - 10:16:11 AM

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Emanuele Ferragina. The Rise and Fall of Social Capital: Requiem for a Theory?. Political Studies Review, Wiley, 2016, ⟨10.1177/1478929915623968⟩. ⟨hal-03579871⟩

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