Social Capital in Europe: Similarity of Countries and Diversity of People?

Multi-level analyses of the European Social Survey 2002


Social capital is not only usefel for the person who owns it, but it may also foster the integration of a society and the stability of a democracy. Friendly relations, social trust and norms of reciprocity ease the living together in a society and encourage people to take part in democratic decision making. This volume examines the differences in levels, causes and consequences of social capital between 22 European countries surveyed in the 2002 European Social Survey. At first glance, social capital differs strongly between countries. Yet the determinants of social capital differ strongly between European people as well. If one takes account of the latter, the former may no longer appear so large. The volume asks whether this is indeed the case so that a similiarity of countries goes along with a diversity of people. To examine this, muliti-level analyses are used in each contribution.

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Heiner Meulemann, Dr. phil. and Habilitation at the University of Frankfurt, is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cologne. He has published on social change and on life histories in Germany, as well as on comparative sociology. He is a member of the German team of the European Social Survey.
1. Introduction, Heiner Meulemann

I: Causes of Social Capital
2. Does the State Affect the Informal Connections between its Citizens? New Institutionalist Explanations of Social Participation in Everyday Life, Tom Van der Meer, Peer Scheepers and Manfred te Grotenhuis
3. Is Altruism More Effective Where it is Required More? Collectivity-Orientation and Involvement in Interest, Issue and Religious Associations, Heiner Meulemann
4. What Makes People Trust in Their Fellow Citizens? Katja Neller
5. What Determines Citizens’ Normative Conception of Their Civic Duties, Bas Denters and Henk van der Kolk
6. Why Television Does Erode Social Capital and Why Newspaper Reading Does Not, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck

II: Consequences of Social Capital
7. Social Capital and Political Involvement, Jan W. Van Deth
8. Social Capital and Political Trust, Oscar W. Gabriel and Melanie Walter-Rogg
9. Explaining Level and Equality of Political Participation. The Role of Social Capital, Socioeconomic Modernity, and Political Institutions, Edeltraud Roller and Tatjana Rudi
10. Social Capital and Empowerment at the Work Place, Heiner Meulemann

11. Retrospect and Prospect, Max Kaase
Scholars interested in social integration, political participation, and in comporative political science and sociology
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