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Vanhoutte, Bram

The functioning of a democracy depends on the health of its social tissue. Social capital, the concept that is most successful in grasping this social tissue, consists of both structure and content, in the form of social networks and a set of attitudes that facilitate collective action respectively. The characteristics of these networks strongly influence their potential for generating social capital. Not only inherent features of networks matter, but the contexts in which these networks exist also affect their effectiveness. These interactions between the social and geographical contexts of the individual , and their effects on social attitudes are the central theme of my research.


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Citizenship and Democracy

Liberal democracies are rapidly being transformed. Traditional mechanisms of linkage between citizens and the state, like elections or political parties, apparently have lost some of their legitimacy, as both voter turnout and party membership are declining in most Western countries. At the same...


Hooghe, Mark

Marc Hooghe is a Professor of Political Science at the Catholic University of Leuven, Fellow of...

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