Social capital and socio- economic development in developing political economies

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 1
  • Abstract:

    This article reflects on the literature and theoretical frameworks regarding social capital, the positioning of social capital in state and society relations and their contribution to socio-economic development. The argument presented here is that socio-economic development does not take place in a political vacuum and the success or failure of development initiatives – including achieving socioeconomic development and reducing poverty – is often reflected in the extent to which the peculiarities of a particular political system, power relations and social relationships are acknowledged and accommodated. Although grounded in Political Science, Political Economy and Political Development, the debate and theoretical development in these fields are still evolving, and the debate regarding the role of social capital is still ongoing. The article emphasises the role and character of social capital in providing the necessary links and relationships among individuals, groups and state and society to enhance the socio-economic development outcomes. It also reflects on some of the initiatives such as the World Bank’s Social Capital Initiative and empirical evidence of the contribution of social capital in achieving socio-economic development.