Civil Society and Social Capital: Comparative Perspectives

University of Glasgow

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Civil Society and Social Capital: Comparative Perspectives

  • Host University

    University of Glasgow

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland

  • Area of Study

    Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Intro to Politics

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Scotcat Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The course will examine classical and competing modern conceptions of civil society and social capital, and will employ comparative perspectives from western and non-western societies to explore critical issues and policy debates. Ideas about social capital and civil society have influenced academic discussions across social science disciplines and policy discussions in governments across the world, as well as in key international institutions such as the OECD and World Bank. Promoting social capital and community participation was a cross-cutting policy priority in the New Labour government, and the ?Big Society? is one of the most prominent, if ill-defined, policy initiatives of the current Coalition. The course will examine the British case, along with cases from pre and post-unification Germany, post-conflict Rwanda, and Maori communities in New Zealand, as well as comparative empirical research, to evaluate the appropriateness and effects of policies and to explore critical issues such as inequality, the role of the state, the nature and function of bonding, bridging and linking ties, differing understandings of the political role of civil society, cultural vs. institutional explanations, and the ?dark side? of social capital.
    By the end of this course students will be able to:
    ? Analyse, critique and compare theoretical conceptions of civil society and social capital.
    ? Articulate the relationship between civil society and social capital.
    ? Assess at least one of the critical issues listed above.
    ? Assess the salience and effectiveness of policies promoting civil society and social capital in different political and cultural contexts.
    - Two-hour, unseen exam (50%)
    - 2000 - 2500 word case study (40%)
    - Participation (10%). The mark will be based on assessment of a presentation which will be marked by the lecturer. The delivery of the presentation will count towards the mark and students will receive written feedback on it.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.