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Maintaining Social Ties: Social Capital in a Global Information Age


Maintaining Social Ties: Social Capital in a Global Information Age " Recent research has documented that social and economic relations remain strikingly local, especially when viewed in the light of many discussions of globalization. The main evidence for this is that the density of social and economic exchanges declines far more with distance and the crossing of national borders than could possibly be explained by transportation and border-related costs. One hypothesis explaining this localization in the face of global information is that social capital ? defined by the OECD as ?networks, together with shared norms, values and understandings that facilitate co-operation within and among groups? ? both supports and is supported by frequent interactions. There is less available empirical evidence about how the various types of local, civic, regional, national and international social capital are created and destroyed, and how the different types of social capital are related to one another. John Helliwell, winner of the Donner Prize, surveys evidence suggesting that the relations among social capital of different types, and of different radii, are complementary rather than competitive. If these results should turn out to be generally applicable, he suggests, in an optimistic vein, adding social capital of types needed to better support international and global cooperation can be done without threatening the nature and value of local loyalties. Published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy


By Institute for Research on Public Policy , Canada.

Miscellaneous Policy Resource.