Recommended Readings A-L

Indexed by author:
A - L | M - T

The Ecology of Place: Planning for Environment, Economy and Community
Beatley, T. and Manning, K. (eds.) 1997. Washington, DC: Island Press.
Individual ambition in America has affected community structure. Boyte uses various detailed examples of communities in America that have changed over time due to progress and development. The first chapter is useful in describing threats to community stability and in listing several factors that determine community ties. As well, examples of community builders are given. These factors could also be interpreted as destroyers and builders of social capital. In later chapters, Hoyte discusses the value of shared memories in communities and the importance of a community's ability for self-help. Community Organization for Public Service (COPS) is an example of this through value-based, community -renewing citizen organization. Although social capital is not often directly mentioned in this book, the focus on community build-up and breakdown involves aspects of social capital. This book is useful in identifying factors of community breakdown and in giving examples of community histories.
Community is Possible: Repairing America's Roots
Boyte, H.C. 1984. New York: Harper and Row.
Individual ambition in America has affected community structure. Boyte uses various detailed examples of communities in America that have changed over time due to progress and development. The first chapter is useful in describing threats to community stability and in listing several factors that determine community ties. As well, examples of community builders are given. These factors could also be interpreted as destroyers and builders of social capital. In later chapters, Hoyte discusses the value of shared memories in communities and the importance of a community's ability for self-help. Community Organization for Public Service (COPS) is an example of this through value-based, community -renewing citizen organization. Although social capital is not often directly mentioned in this book, the focus on community build-up and breakdown involves aspects of social capital. This book is useful in identifying factors of community breakdown and in giving examples of community histories.
Urban Development and Civil Society: the Role of Communities in Sustainable Cities
Carley, M., Jenkins, P. and Smith, H. 2001. Earthscan Publications.
This book focuses on sustainable development in cities by emphasizing the importance of certain institutions in sustainability and the need for human networks to balance environmental, social, economic and political forces. As well, it sets out parameters for local community building within urban development and discusses the major players within this (state, market, civil society). Chapter one offers a useful discussion on human networking in the context of sustainable development and the destructive effects of globalization on social capital. In chapter seven, the role of communities in sustainable development is discussed in detail, including an example from Costa Rica and the steps involved for self-management. Figure 11.1 on page 190 provides a clear illustration of the links between state, market and civil society. This book explores the need for more social development and grassroots action through the analysis of eight different case studies in eight different countries. Chapter one is most relevant to the research.
Social Capital, Local Capacity Building and Poverty Reduction
Carroll, T.F. 2001. Asian Development Bank. Social development paper no. 3.
This book is divided into 4 main sections. Section one defines social capital and discusses both structural (formal and informal organizations and networks) and cognitive (values, attitudes, beliefs) social capital. Other typologies of social capital are discussed here including intra and extra group ties and micro/macro linkages and connections. Beneficial and harmful effects of social capital are discussed. Coproduction is explored briefly as a method to create social capital. Section two focuses on building social capital through local organizations. Of particular interest is the statement on page 37 that sustainable approaches to poverty reduction can only be achieved through local initiative. In the chapter review, the importance of social capital along with other forms of capital is discussed. Section three explores linkages, roles of local institutions and NGO's in local capacity building. At the end of section three, the history of a national NGO in India is used as an example of a social capital builder. Section four suggests Asian Development Bank priorities for investing in social capital. This book is an excellent source for defining social capital and identifying where and how its promotion has been successful in local capacity building. As stated, on page 121, "Local institution building is important for sustainability."
Systems Thinking, Systems Practice
Checkland, P. 1991. Wiley.
This is a book about the interaction between theory and practice of problem-solving methodology. The book derives from a decade of 'action research' aimed at using systems ideas as a help in tackling the ill-structured problems of the real world. This began with 'hard' systems engineering which was modified as the need for something more appropriate arose. The emerging methodology was tested in further studies. Reflection on the experiences led to a view of the systems movement as a whole. Checkland outlines the benefits and limitations of the scientific method and argues that science does not deal well with social phenomena and with complexity in general. He discusses the emergence of the systems paradigm since the 1940s. A systems concept may be described as "the idea of a whole entity which under a range of conditions maintains its identity". Systems thinking takes a broad view of a given scenario, characterizing it as a structured whole and examining the interactions of parts of that whole. Checkland investigates real-world problems, and in doing so develops a soft systems methodology that accounts for the role of the perceptions of human actors in human activity systems.
Social Capital and Participation in Everyday Life
Dekker, P. and Uslaner, E.M. (eds.) 2001 London: Routeledge.
This volume consists of contributions that emphasize how social capital shapes our everyday life and how social ties can lead to community involvement. This most relevant and useful information in this volume is found in chapters one to four and in chapter nine. Chapter one provides an introduction to social capital, while chapter two examines social capital as the glue that holds together the norms, rules and institutions in Grootaert's article "Social Capital: the Missing Link?" Chapter three explores the possibility of diversity as an enemy to social capital and concludes that it is not. Chapter four discusses the elements of social capital in detail (participation, networking, reciprocity, trust and social norms). In this chapter, social capital is also discussed as an essential part of healthy individuals, families and communities. In chapter nine, civic engagement and trust are stated as being positively correlated. The contributors of this book all opt for a critical approach to the assumed beneficial consequences of social capital and conclude that it is unlikely to be the "magic elixir" for society's problems due mainly to the difficulty in promoting civic and trust. Despite these conclusions, this volume is very useful in providing a multi-faceted analysis of the existing thoughts on social capital to date.
Discovering Your Community: A Cooperative Process for Planning Sustainability
1994. Harmony Foundation.
This handbook works as a manual for community development plans and acts as a tool to aid communities in becoming organized. This guide is written with an underlying principle that lasting sustainability requires that of social issues be at the core of all community planning processes. The introduction to sustainable communities provides a clear connection between sustainability and the need for communities. This guidebook is a good example of the current initiatives and information available on the topic of sustainable communities.
The Spirit of Community
Etzioni, A. 1993. New York, NY: Touchtone.
In this book, Etzioni explores the communitarian movement. This is defined as an environmental movement that is dedicated to the betterment of social, moral and political spheres. Etzioni argues that communities have moral voices and these must be restored in order to rebuild communities. Of particular interest is chapter four in which the loss of traditional community in the name of progress is discussed with the idea of the "urban villages" arising within cities. The need for communities to out their own agendas is also briefly discussed. This is an excellent source relevant to concepts of sustainable communities and social capital, assuming we can classify the moral voice as a component of this.
Trust: The social virtues and the creation of prosperity
Fukyama, Francis. 1995. London: Penguin
Community Organising: Building social capital as a development strategy
Gittell, Ross and Avis Vidal. 1998. London: Sage
Dynamics of (dis)harmony in ecological and social systems
Holling, C.S. and S. Sanderson.. 1996. in
S. Hanna, C. Folke and K.-G. Maler [Eds.] Rights to Natire: Ecological, economic, cultural, and principles of institutions for the environment. Washington, DC: Island Press
Modernization and post-modernization: Cultural, economic and political change in 43 societies
Inglehart, R. 1998. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
Green Production: Toward an Environmental Rationality
Leff, E. 1995. NewYork, NY: The Guilford Press.
The main theme of this book is on learning our way to a sustainable society. The most relevant information can be found in Chapter four where the required values for a sustainable society are discussed along with the need to learn new ways of thinking. This is not the most useful source.