Contradictions of Capitalism and Their Ideological Counterparts: The Neo-Liberal Project and the Concept of 'Social Capital'

Sirvan Karimi

Abstract


Even though the concept of social capital has been around for a long time, it has recently gained a growing currency in academic literature on social and economic development. Numerous theorists, policy analysts, government officials and even international institutions such as the World Bank have attempted to theorize social capital as an indispensable prelude to economic development and democratization. Contrary to this line of argumentation, there is in fact a weak positive correlation between social capital, economic development and a vibrant democracy. The ascendancy of social capital lies in its potential to facilitate the consolidation of neo-liberal project. Social capital is conducive to externalizing the inherent contradictions of capitalist market economy, blurring the unequal power relations, and re-personalizing social responsibilities for economic outcomes which are the main objectives of neo-liberalism.

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International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory | ISSN : 1916-2782