By John Harriss
In 'Depoliticizing Development', John Harriss explores the origins of the belief of social capital and its assorted meanings within the paintings of James Coleman, Pierre Bourdieu and, extra particularly, Robert Putnam, who's so much liable for the intense upward thrust of the assumption of social capital via his paintings on Italy and the U.S.. Harriss asks why this idea must have taken off within the dramatic method that it has performed and reveals in its makes use of through the realm financial institution the try, systematically, to vague classification family members and gear. Social capital has therefore come to play an important half within the discourses of overseas improvement, which cross towards comprising 'the anti-politics machine'. This strong and lucid critique might be of big price to all these drawn to improvement stories, together with sociologists, economists, planners, NGOs and different activists.
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Extra resources for Depoliticizing Development: The World Bank and Social Capital (Anthem South Asian Studies)
Putnam notes t h e n e e d for caution in inferring causality fro m correlations such as those that h e shows between h i s index of social capital and various good things, but having entered this caveat he then proceeds very largely to ignore it. He does note the connections between levels of education and social capital, but not their possible ( independent) causal effects when it comes to explaining variations in levels of 'health and happiness' (etc . ) . 9 Most strangely, given the emphatic statement which I have quoted concerning the inverse relationships between social capital as he defines it and inequality, there is no effort at distinguishing the effects of inequality upon schooling, standards of health care, and the like.
Thus it is that some scholars and commentators have now started to speak of the 'post-Washington consensus' - one that rejects the analytical agenda of state vs. market and argues instead that the two must complement each other. It is still a long way, however, from the old (broadly Keynesian) approach to economic devel o p ment, and there is no sense in which the core ideas of the Washington consensus have been 'overturned'. The p oint, for the purposes of the p resent discussion, is that current thinking about development is greatly concerned with 'good government', which is held to mean government that is transparent and accountable, working within a clear and consistent legal framework, such as will p rovide the conditions for effective and efficient markets.
Tendler's analysis falsifies these propositions, and she finds that the improved performance of government workers has rather involved a three way dynamic between local government, civil society, and an active central ( that is, here, state) government. Most strikingly, central government S o c i a l Cap i t a l a n d Sy n e rg y 69 actually took some powers away from municipal governments in order, paradoxically, to strengthen local government (the Ceara story illustrates, therefore, 'the ironic paradox of decentralization', which is that in the words of a fo rmer Colombian minister , 'it demands more centralization and more sophisticated pol itical skills at the national level' ) .
Depoliticizing Development: The World Bank and Social Capital (Anthem South Asian Studies) by John Harriss