Other books byRobert D. Putnam
Making Democracy Work
Civic Traditions in Modern Italy
Why do some democratic governments succeed and others fail? In a book that has received attention from policymakers and civic activists in America and around the world, Robert Putnam and his collaborators offer empirical evidence for the importance of "civic community" in developing successful institutions. Their focus is on a unique experiment begun in 1970 when Italy created new governments for each of its regions. After spending two decades analyzing the efficacy of these governments in such fields as agriculture, housing, and health services, they reveal patterns of associationism, trust, and cooperation that facilitate good governance and economic prosperity.
Democracies in Flux
The Evolution of Social Capital in Contemporary...
In his national bestsellerBowling Alone, Robert Putnam illuminated the decline of social capital in the US. Now, inDemocracies in Flux, Putnam brings together a group of leading scholars who broaden his findings as they examine the state of social capital in eight advanced democracies around the world. The book is packed with many intriguing revelations. The contributors note, for instance, that waning participation in unions, churches, and political parties seems to be virtually universal, a troubling discovery as these forms of social capital are especially important for empowering less educated, less affluent portions of the population. Indeed, in general, the researchers found more social grouping among the affluent than among the working classes and they find evidence of a younger generation that is singularly uninterested in politics, distrustful both of politicians and of others, cynical about public affairs, and less inclined to participate in enduring social organizations. Yet social capital appears as strong as ever in Sweden, where 40% of the adult population participate in "study circles"--small groups who meet weekly for educational discussions. Social capital--good will, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse--is vitally important both for the health of our communities and for our own physical and psychological well being. Offering a panoramic look at social capital around the world, this book makes an important contribution to our understanding of these phenomena and why they are important in today's world.
Bureaucrats and Politicians in Western Democracies
In uneasy partnership at the helm of the modern state stand elected party politicians and professional bureaucrats. This book is the first comprehensive comparison of these two powerful elites. In seven countries--the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, and the Netherlands--researchers questioned 700 bureaucrats and 6OO politicians in an effort to understand how their aims, attitudes, and ambitions differ within cultural settings. One of the authors' most significant findings is that the worlds of these two elites overlap much more in the United States than in Europe. But throughout the West bureaucrats and politicians each wear special blinders and each have special virtues. In a well-ordered polity, the authors conclude, politicians articulate society's dreams and bureaucrats bring them gingerly to earth.
Can Nations Agree?
Issues in International Economic Cooperation
In the age of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, a new international trade in industrial and human waste, the depletion of the ozone layer, and the greenhouse effect, the importance of international cooperation is supremely evident. In the economic arena, such problems include speculative instability in financial and primary commodities markets, competition in tax regimes, and the greatly enhanced scope for tax evasion. Can Nations Agree? examines the crucial issues surrounding international cooperation-- conditions that foster cooperation toward common goals; ways to handle the friction arising from conflicting goals; and the structures that best promote cooperation. Although nations recognize the value of cooperation in an independent world, a variety of conditions inhibit the process. In recent decades the number of independent nations has risen rapidly, and so has the variety of decisionmakers and national interests to be reconciled. At the same time, the economic power of the United States has declined in relation to other successful capitalist countries. In the chapters on the 1978 Bonn economic summit, German macroeconomic policy, international cooperation on public health issues, and hegemony and stability, the scholars contributing to this volume analyze the history and process of international cooperation to offer fresh insight for future efforts.