Democracies in Flux: The Evolution of Social Capital in Contemporary Society

By Robert D. Putnam | Go to book overview

6
FROM CIVIL WAR
TO CIVIL SOCIETY:

Social Capital
in Spain
from the 1930s
to the 1990s
VÍCTOR PÉREZ-DÍAZ

Following on from James Coleman, Robert Putnam has recently made “social capital” a fashionable term, and affirms that it is diminishing in the United States and possibly in other countries. 1 However, the term “social capital” needs some clarification, and the assumption of social capital's benign effects on liberal societies should be drastically qualified. The term denotes a combination of norms and networks of cooperation and sentiments of trust that may be of quite different character and serve quite different functions in the larger society. In this essay, I will propose a distinction between two very different kinds of social capital that may exist, “civil” and “uncivil” social capital, and I will explore the effects that these may have, with reference to developments in Spain over the last sixty years. But first a few words are in order on the context that frames these questions, in both its historical and theoretical dimensions.

Western liberal societies are in a post-totalitarian period and are learning to live with a market economy characterized by globalization, (partial) deregulation, privatization, and, so far, a large wave of prosperity. Welfare reform and the demise of the kind of capitalism that was regulated and strongly influenced by the state and corporatist institutions are part of this learning experience. People in many countries have associated the welfare state and the corporate arrangements of “managed capitalism” with the prosperity and stability of the post—World War II

-245-

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Democracies in Flux: The Evolution of Social Capital in Contemporary Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Democracies in Flux 1
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The Role of Government and the Distribution of Social Capital 21
  • 2 - Bridging the Privileged and the Marginalized? 59
  • 3 - From Membership to Advocacy 103
  • 4 - Old and New Civic and Social Ties in France 137
  • 5 - The German Case 189
  • 6 - Social Capital in Spain from the 1930s to the 1990s 245
  • 7 - Social Capital in the Social Democratic State 289
  • 8 - Making the Lucky Country 333
  • 9 - Broadening the Basis of Social Capital in Japan 359
  • Conclusion 393
  • Notes 417
  • Contributors 493
  • Index 497
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