Cover image for Beyond Tocqueville : civil society and the social capital debate in comparative perspective
Beyond Tocqueville : civil society and the social capital debate in comparative perspective
Edwards, Bob, 1958-
Publication Information:
Hanover, NH : University Press of New England, [2001]

Physical Description:
xi, 340 pages ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JC337 .B48 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Recent discussion about the role of civil society in democratic governance around the world and the decline of social capital in the US has raised pressing theoretical and empirical questions about the character of contemporary societies and the social and institutional correlates of sound and dynamic democracies. This debate has reached a North American and European audience that extends well beyond academia.

The predominant refrain in the debate, following Alexis de Tocqueville's 160-year-old analysis of democracy in America, attaches tremendous importance to the role of voluntary associations in contemporary democracies. Participation in such groups is said to produce social capital, often linked to high levels of social trust. Social capital in turn is conceived as a crucial national resource for promoting collective action for the common good.

Beyond Tocqueville presents 21 varied essays on how civic engagement and political and economic cooperation are generated in contemporary societies, linking theoretical discourse with public policy and actual behaviors.

Author Notes

Bob Edwards is Assistant Professor of Sociology at East Carolina University
Michael W. Foley is Associate Professor of Politics at Catholic University of America
Mario Diani is Professor of Sociology at Strathclyde University in Glasgow

Table of Contents

ContributorsCynthia Anderson and Sheri Berman and Jeffrey M. Berry and John A. Booth and Mario Diani and Carla Eastis and Bob Edwards and Michael W. Foley and Andrew Greeley and Charles Heying and Lane Kenworthy and William Maloney and Jeffrey A. McLellan and Debra Minkoff and Kenneth Newton and Kent E. Portney and Patricia Bayer Richard and Thomas R. Rochon and Richard Rose and Michael Schulman and Graham Smith and Jackie Smith and Gerry Stoker and Dietlind Stolle and Mark R. Warren and Keith Whittington and Richard L. Wood and Miranda Yates and James Youniss