Networks, Trust And Social Capital: Theoretical And Empirical Investigations From Europe
The concepts of social networks, social capital and trust play an increasingly central role in the social sciences. They have become indispensable conceptual tools for the analysis of post-industrial/late-modern societies, which are characterized by such features as the relative decline of formal hierarchies, the development of flexible social arrangements in the sphere of production and the extreme mobility of capital. This is the first book to study the interrelationships between these important concepts both theoretically and empirically. Drawing on empirical investigations from a range of diverse European social contexts, the contributors develop an economic sociology that builds on and extends established theoretical perspectives. The book opens with an introduction to the theoretical ideas: relating social capital to reciprocity, trust and social networks in line with current debates. The authors go on to discuss the concept of social embededdness, addressing the economic effects of social capital by examining the network and trust foundations of labour markets and investigating the structural limits of trusting networks. They conclude with an exploration of the impact of networking and the functioning of trust and social capital on the economic arrangements and performance of nascent capitalist economies in post-Communist Europe. This thematically unified collection by a team of distinguished contributors from across Europe provides an innovative and distinctive contribution to an expanding area of research.