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Donnerstag, 7. Juli 2022

Reviving Social Capital Theory or Searching for New Key Concepts?

Roundtable - Hybrid event


In the context of a two-day workshop on the future of social capital in civil society research, we will host a public roundtable revolving around the central question of the workshop: What is the current state of social capital theory, and to what extent do we require new key concepts?

Taking a critical perspective on the concept of social capital, Paul Lichterman (University of Southern California) will hold an impulse talk on his recent work, where he illustrates different, patterned styles of civic interaction that are hard to grasp with the classical social capital concept. For Lichterman, civic interaction is neither a matter of purely local group culture nor simply a reflection of the “macro” factors that drive civic development. Rather, he argues that a pragmatist perspective reveals how different styles of civic action are inscribed by institutional contexts that generate unavoidable dilemmas for actors and sometimes unpredictable consequences.

In response to Paul Lichterman’s input, we will hold a panel discussion with distinguished scholars from civil society and social movement research - Hjalmar Bang Carlsen (University of Copenhagen), Priska Daphi (University of Bielefeld), and Hahrie Han (Johns Hopkins University). The panelists will discuss the importance of social capital and related concepts for their own work.

The discussion will be moderated by Edgar Grande, Director of the Center for Civil Society Research (WZB Berlin Social Science Center).


The event is part of the two-day workshop on “Frontiers in Civil Society Research: Reviving Social Capital Theory or Searching for New Key Concepts?” organized by the Center for Civil Society Research.

The event will be recorded.

Please contact Gesine Höltmann (Gesine.hoeltmann [at] or Clara van den Berg (clara.vandenberg [at] for further information.


Corona pandemic rules
The current Corona pandemic rules at WZB can be found here.

WZB is barrier-free
The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please let Friederike Theilen-Kosch (friederike.theilen-kosch [at] know if you need special assistance.