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This section collects information about new books, reports, other publications on social capital and related topics. Authors aiming to publicize their work on this web site can write me to post announcements in this section. Links to these works will appear also in the home page for some time.

New books

Fine, Ben (2010). Theories of Social Capital: Researchers Behaving Badly. Pluto.

"Ben Fine is the world’s most thorough and indefatigible critic of the abuse of the concept of capital that follows from adding ‘social’ - and other adjectives - to it. Further intellectual confusion is generated by the different meanings social capital can have as it colonises the social sciences. Here he builds on his magnum opus - ‘Social Capital and Social Theory’ - to explore the reasons behind the chaos this causes and the consequences of the penetration of notions of profit into every nook and cranny of our lives". Barbara Harriss-White, Oxford University Tracing the evolution of social capital since his highly acclaimed contribution of 2001 (Social Capital Versus Social Theory), Ben Fine consolidates his position as the world’s...

Illingworth, P. (2012). Us Before Me Ethics and Social Capital for Global Well-Being. Palgrave MacMillan

In Us before Me, a philosopher argues that persistent, unabated human suffering requires that the traditional tools of moral philosophy and everyday ethics be supplemented with a new moral principle that shifts the focus from individualism and self- interest to our collective interests. She proposes that social capital, widely recognized as good for individuals and the community, also has important ethical qualities. Treating social capital as a moral principle can override people's reluctance to create social capital because of a concern that others will free ride on their efforts. Patricia Illingworth takes the position that promoting social capital will increase individual, community and global well-being. As people globalize their social networks, mindful of the moral...

Bruni, L. (2012). The Wound and the Blessing: Economics, Relationships, and Happiness. New York: New City Press

The crisis that market societies are undergoing is essentially a crisis of relationships. It originates in the illusion that the market, through the actions of an invisible hand operating in impersonal market relationships, can present us a good common life that is exempt from the possibility of being wounded by the other. Luigino Bruni offers an authoritative and innovative look at the cultural and anthropological premises underlying contemporary market economies and their promises. He suggests that the market has betrayed its promises, offering the prevalence of unhappiness in our cities as evidence, and points out the need for balancing the increasing tendency toward isolation with the human need for relationships. Bruni proposes gratuitousness - free and open reciprocity, quite...

Folland, S., Rocco, L. (2014). The Economics of Social Capital and Health A Conceptual and Empirical Roadmap. Washington, D.C.: World Scientific.

This book edited by Sherman Folland and Lorenzo Rocco defines the field of social capital and health. Over the last two decades, there has been a recognition of the importance of social capital (usually defined as ties in the community, attachment to the community, and participation in community activities) and its impact on the health of those in that community. The purpose of this book is to show the growth in the field of social capital and health and to expose readers to a variety of approaches in order to think about and model the question of how health can be improved by investments in community social capital as well as by individual social capital. An outstanding set of papers will be presented by authors from the United States, as well as from Europe and Asia. These papers are...

Welzel, C. (2013). Freedom Rising Human Empowerment and the Quest for Emancipation. Cambridge University Press

This book presents a comprehensive theory of why human freedom gave way to increasing oppression since the invention of states - and why this trend began to reverse itself more recently, leading to a rapid expansion of universal freedoms and democracy. Drawing on a massive body of evidence, the author tests various explanations of the rise of freedom, providing convincing support of a well-reasoned theory of emancipation. The study demonstrates multiple trends toward human empowerment, which converge to give people control over their lives. Most important among these trends is the spread of 'emancipative values', which emphasize free choice and equal opportunities. The author identifies the desire for emancipation as the origin of the human empowerment trend and shows when and why...

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