Re-examining a modern classic: does Putnam's Making Democracy Work suffer from spuriousness?

Joan Barcelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

What makes democratic institutions work efficiently? Robert Putnam argued in Making Democracy Work that a mixture of political participation and immersion in associative and social networks in the community, conceptualised as ‘civic community’ or ‘social capital’, is the explanation. Ever since its publication, many questions have arisen about the validity of Putnam's theory. Among the most relevant concerns stands the influence of the Italian Communist Party on Putnam's empirical tests. This paper aims to fill the gap left in the literature by testing Putnam's hypothesis against the political party in the regional government and the PCI's electoral support. Supporting Putnam, this paper finds that variations in the quality of democratic governments in Italy's regions are a function of civic community even after adjusting for the presence of the Italian Communist Party.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-471
Number of pages15
JournalModern Italy
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014

Fingerprint

communist party
democracy
community
political participation
social capital
social network
Italy
Democracy
Italian Communist Party
Government
Civics
literature
Associative Networks
Political Parties
Testing
Social Networks
Political Participation
Social Capital
Immersion

Keywords

  • civic community
  • democracy
  • Italian Communist Party
  • Putnam
  • social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Re-examining a modern classic : does Putnam's Making Democracy Work suffer from spuriousness? / Barcelo, Joan.

In: Modern Italy, Vol. 19, No. 4, 02.10.2014, p. 457-471.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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