Social Capital and Self-Government Under an Authoritarian: A Survey of Rural China

31 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 5 Oct 2009

See all articles by Jie Chen

Jie Chen

Old Dominion University

Narisong Huhe

Old Dominion University

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Scholars of social capital are still exploring and debating which type of social capital plays what kind of role in shaping economic development and government performance in different economic and political systems at various levels. To contribute to this important exploration and debate, this paper examines the impacts of two types of social capital - generalized and particularized - on the performance of grassroots self-government institutions in urban China based on an original survey of 144 urban neighborhood communities in China’s three major cities. The findings indicate that the generalized social capital embodied in the indiscriminative trust and inclusive social networks positively affected the performance of the self-government institutions, while the particularized social capital as manifested in discriminative trust and exclusive social networks negatively impacted such performance. These findings help clarify some theoretical issues and shed some light on the prospects of the local self-government system in China.

Suggested Citation

Chen, Jie and Huhe, Narisong, Social Capital and Self-Government Under an Authoritarian: A Survey of Rural China (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1451818

Jie Chen (Contact Author)

Old Dominion University ( email )

Department of Political Science
Norfolk, VA 23529-0222
United States
757-683-3947 (Phone)

Narisong Huhe

Old Dominion University ( email )

Norfolk, VA 23529-0222
United States

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