Explain the term social capital. How does it enhance good governance? (150 words)

Social capital refers to the collective value of all social networks and the inclinations arising from these networks to do things for each other. It encompasses trust, norms, and systems that exist within a community, facilitating cooperation within or among groups.

  • Trust and Reciprocity: High levels of trust within a community encourage reciprocity and mutual support. Enhancement: Trustworthiness in governance reduces bureaucracy and accelerates decision-making.
  • Shared Norms: A community with shared norms and values will more likely work towards common goals. Enhancement: Facilitates smooth policy implementation as there’s a mutual understanding between authorities and citizens.
  • Information Channels: Efficient networks serve as conduits for information dissemination. Enhancement: Information transparency reduces misinformation, ensuring citizens are well-informed.
  • Civic Participation: Increased involvement of citizens in community activities boosts collective efficacy. Enhancement: Engaged citizens actively participate in governance, leading to more democratic processes.
  • Networks of Civic Engagement: Organized networks foster better coordination and collective action. Enhancement: A networked society can mobilize quickly to address governance challenges.

In essence, social capital acts as the glue that binds communities, streamlining the process of governance. With established trust and cooperation, good governance becomes not just an administrative task but a collective endeavor of the society.

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