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Social Capital and Collective Action in Environmental Governance Revisited


  • Hiroe Ishihara

    () (University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy)

  • Unai Pascual

    () (University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy)


Since the 1990s, a growing number of authors have argued that social capital has positive effects in creating collective action and achieving favourable economic/political outcomes. However, in this paper we argue that despite this plethora of social capital literature, the connection between social capital and collective action is far from clear. By drawing on to a pluralistic perspective, i.e. ecological economics, sociology and anthropology, and introducing two key concepts, common knowledge and symbolic power, we aim at unravelling the missing links between social capital and collective action for environmental governance. By introducing these two concepts we aim to recapture a recursive relationship between social structure and human agency and to regain the explanatory power of the concept of social capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiroe Ishihara & Unai Pascual, 2008. "Social Capital and Collective Action in Environmental Governance Revisited," Environmental Economy and Policy Research Working Papers 38.2008, University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economics, revised 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:lnd:wpaper:200838

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    Social Capital; institutions; collective action; ‘common knowledge’; ‘symbolic power’; human agency;

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