Social Capital and Collective Action in Environmental Governance Revisited

Hiroe Ishihara and Unai Pascual

in Global Environmental Commons

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199656202
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742149 | DOI:
Social Capital and Collective Action in Environmental Governance Revisited

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Since the 1990s, a growing number of authors have argued that social capital has positive effects in facilitating coordination among different stakeholders by lowering the transaction cost and thus achieving favourable environmental outcomes. However, this chapter argues that despite this plethora of social capital literature, the connection between social capital and collective action is far from clear. By drawing on a pluralistic perspective, i.e. ecological economics, sociology, and anthropology, and introducing two key concepts, common knowledge and symbolic power, the chapter aims at unravelling the missing links between social capital and collective action for environmental governance. By introducing these two concepts the chapter aims to recapture a recursive relationship between social structure and human agency and to regain the explanatory power of the concept of social capital.

Keywords: social capital; institutions; collective action; common knowledge; symbolic power; human agency

Chapter.  9955 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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