This review evaluates the most recent studies of social capital in political science and argues that they have strayed considerably from the original treatment of social capital, which casts it as endogenous. Recent treatments have recast social capital as a feature of political culture and thereby treat values as exogenous. These two approaches emanate from incompatible premises and have fundamentally different implications. Thus, efforts to combine the two approaches are rendered unproductive by inevitable inconsistencies of internal logic. Moreover, empirical tests of the exogenous social capital approach are deficient: They are selective in their use of data and employ ad hoc procedures at crucial junctures. We therefore urge a return to the treatment of social capital as endogenous.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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