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Network topologies as collective social capital in cities and regions: a critical review of empirical studies

DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1406898
ISSNISSN/ISBN: 0965-4313
ISSNYear: 2017
AutorAuthor/s: Galaso, Pablo
EditorialEditorial: European Planning Studies
This paper outlines a theoretical framework to study collective social capital at the local scale using social network analysis. To do so, it develops a review on empirical research that found evidence regarding the impact of networks on the performance of cities and regions. Eight network topologies are identified with collective social capital: size and composition, connectivity, closeness, clustering, small world, openness, centralization and heterophily. The paper inquires into the effects of these properties concluding that they influence two aspects that are highly relevant for territorial development: they facilitate the diffusion of information and they foster cooperation among actors. Results help tracing roots among three different academic fields: literature on social capital, local and regional economics, and social network analysis. Furthermore, the article suggests a framework to obtain relevant conclusions regarding political and economic aspects of territorial capacities.
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