Protecting ecosystems: Social capital and network structure

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Community Development Journal
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The research reported here explores a community that amassed social capital in effective and diverse ways, enabling it to fight a corporate giant and protect critical, large watersheds. We explore how the dynamic interaction between network formation and network structure augmented community social capital, particularly bridging, for increased access to human and economic capital. Network structure(s) can create enabling conditions for the mobilization of social capital within communities and for people to feel empowered to act. The research suggests that there is an opportunity for policy-makers to learn what kinds of policies can enhance or destroy existing social capital in a community.