Contribution to Book
Civic Elites and Corporate Delocalization: An Alternative Explanation for Declining Civic EngagementBeyond Tocqueville: Civil Society and the Social Capital Debate in Comparative Perspective (2001)
AbstractThis chapter presents an alternative to Robert Putnam's explanation for the decline of social capital in America. The author suggests that the complex impacts of economic transformations—in particular, the destabilization of communities that results when corporate ownership is disconnected from place—have been unfairly dismissed by Putnam in his determination to link the decline in social capital to television and generational effects. The author's argument begins at the level of elite leadership, presenting evidence from Atlanta and other cities that demonstrates declining rates of elite engagement. This decline is logically connected to corporate delocalization and decreasing incentives for elites to mobilize communities to enhance place-based development. The author offers some informed speculation that nationwide mergers in the banking and utility industries are likely to lead to a further deterioration of elite commitment to civic participation. It is also suggested that elite withdrawal will have cascading consequences on the philanthropic sector and the community's ability to sustain a dynamic associational life.
EditorBob Edwards, Michael Foley, and Mario Diani
PublisherUniversity Press of New England
Citation InformationCharles H. Heying. "Civic Elites and Corporate Delocalization: An Alternative Explanation for Declining Civic Engagement" Beyond Tocqueville: Civil Society and the Social Capital Debate in Comparative Perspective (2001)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/charles_heying/14/