Social Capital Scholarship

In case it’s of interest to people considering doing academic work on social capital, I presented in Brisbane on Wednesday a bird’s eye summary of social capital scholarship in Australia (PDF).

I ended up concluding that some themes seem pretty well covered already:

  • Economics and social capital
  • Health and social capital
  • Education/schools and social capital
  • Rural Australia and social capital
  • Social capital theory
  • Left-wing politics and social capital

By contrast, other themes are surprisingly under-researched, especially:

  • Regional case studies
  • Organisational case studies
  • Indigenous social capital

I also made some observations about the big questions in the field, especially what I think are the hard/easy and over-researched/under-researched topics.

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2 Responses to Social Capital Scholarship

  1. Andrew C says:

    Thanks for the notes. Social capital is something i’ve come across at times in reading the work of Fukuyama and Mark Latham, but could you recommend some other authors/works which could give a undergrad student an eye into the field.

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” is a must-read. From an Australian perspective, I also have a social capital section of my website,

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