Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Chair

Dr. David Butler

Committee Chair Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Member 2

Dr. Joseph St. Marie

Committee Member 2 Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Member 3

Dr. Robert Pauly

Committee Member 3 Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Member 4

Dr. Ward Sayre

Committee Member 4 Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

This qualitative dissertation explores how linking social capital is mobilized in community development and proposes an analytical framework for studying linking social capital relationships unique from bonding and bridging social capital. Linking social capital defines those relationships that are acting to bridge individuals across institutional boundaries and can be particularly important in rural, less developed regions. Although not frequently used in empirical studies, linking capital is typically measured by counting membership in external groups or associations. This study revealed the most direct benefit from linking social capital was financial support from intermediary agencies. Additionally, linking social capital has indirect community benefits that are rarely mentioned in the literature such as connecting government officials with the people who provide knowledge and skills to perform their jobs. Membership in associations may not be the best method to measure linking capital since because simply belonging to a group does not necessarily result in benefits to the community. Benefits are also derived from linking relationships that are not membership based and are thus omitted in other studies where simply counting membership is the only measure of linking social capital. Using the methodology and analytical framework suggested in this dissertation, development researchers can build on the present understanding of the role linking social capital plays along with bonding and bridging social capital in community development.

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