The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast two different papers that highlight how social capital is viewed by different communities in any given society. The first article titled “Social Capital and Civil Society” was published in October 1999 by Francis Fukuyama from the institute of Public Policy, George Mason University. Fukuyama (1999) explores to examine in a wider context what social capital is? It’s key function in the free market, how social capital is measured and finally makes suggestions on how social capital can be cultivated for the good in any given society.
In the second article titled “What is Social Capital and why is it important to Public Policy?” was published in 1998 by Robert E. Lang and Steven P. Hornburg from the Fannie Mae Foundation. The authors highlight that social capital has a clear link to government housing and urban policy formation and argue that the lack of social capital has a clear affect to community stability and housing provision. By using Robert Putman’s concepts and comparing six different articles on social capital the author’s further see the increase to social capital to an area has a high effect to the community and improves the lives of many people that are living in deprived areas of the society.
Brief Outline Articles
“Social Capital and Civil Society” published in October 1999 By Francis Fukuyama from the institute of Public Policy, George Mason University.
Fukuyama (1999) defines social capital as the cooperation of a group of people that are mainly formed by two or more people. He goes further to claim that the formation of the group can be between two very good friends or be more complicated like in the formation of religious group but he stress the point that not all formation constitute to form a group that that norms can range from a norm of reciprocity promotes social capital. In his view for social capital to be active the groups that are formed to support each other and have traditional values like honesty, reliability when performing duties, commitment to the group, time keeping and keep to vision and the objective of the group.
Fukuyama (1999) goes further to clarifying that the “radius of trust” have to be present “where all groups embodying social capital have a certain radius of trust, that is, the circle of people among who cooperative norms are operative” Fukuyama (1999). He explains that if individuals in a group’s social capital yield good outcomes that are positive in nature and benefit the society the “radius of trust” in that group can be much bigger and greater that the group itself. He also stress that the radius of trust can be smaller than the individual who are members to a group and hence different individuals can be members of different social capital groups, which cause an overlapping of the radius of trust hence benefiting the society. See below figure 1 that illustrates the overlapping concept.