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MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK: THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY ROBERT D. PUTNAM Peter & Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy XVI Congreso Internacional del.

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Presentation on theme: "MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK: THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY ROBERT D. PUTNAM Peter & Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy XVI Congreso Internacional del."— Presentation transcript:

1 MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK: THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY ROBERT D. PUTNAM Peter & Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy XVI Congreso Internacional del CLAD sobre la Reforma del Estado y de la Administración Pública Asunción, Paraguay Friday, November 11

2 Making Democracy Work Central question: Why are some places bettter governed than others?

3 Making Democracy Work Central question: Why are some places bettter governed than others? Experimental design: Same seeds in different soils

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5 Making Democracy Work Central question: Why are some places bettter governed than others? Experimental design: Same seeds in different soils Measuring government performance

6 Making Democracy Work Central question: Why are some places bettter governed than others? Experimental design: Same seeds in different soils Measuring government performance Explaining government performance: Not wealth, education, parties, but choral societies and football clubsthat is, civil society.

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9 What is social capital and why is it important? Social capital is not about associations, but networks Social capital: Social networks and norms of reciprocity Core insight: Social networks have value for individuals and for communities. Networks are important because they: Transmit information Help overcome dilemmas of collective action Encourage reciprocity and trust Influence identities and thus encourage altruism Social capital can be used for bad purposes, like human capital, but mostly is used for good purposes

10 Social capital is associated with: More honest and efficient community life – Effective government – Tax and legal compliance – Low corruption – Creditworthiness Better educational outcomes Improved child welfare – Lower infant mortality – Lower teen pregnancy Low crime Better physical and mental health Improved economic performance Greater life satisfaction

11 Types of social connectedness Formal vs. informal – Organizational membership – Civic activity (e.g., meetings, projects) – Personal support (friends and neighbors) Virtual vs. face-to-face Bridging vs. Bonding Different types have different effects

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13 Ups and downs of social capital in US history Bowling Alone: Social capital in US rose , but fell Why? Technological and social change made earlier forms of social capital obsolete Challenge for all societies undergoing rapid change: How to foster new forms of civil society

14 Social capital and other human values What is the effect of migration and ethnic diversity on social capital? What are the effects of the internet on social capital? What are the effects of inequality on social capital and of social capital on inequality?


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