`As theoretical paradigms develop, there comes a time when they need careful synthesis, deep reflection and wise criticism. It is now that time for the arguments regarding social capital. Political scientists are fortunate that a scholar as pre-eminent as Elinor Ostrom, and her able student T.K. Ahn, have taken the lead in undertaking this task. They have pulled together a fine collection of essays and added an insightful and pedagogically sound overview. The collection is likely to find its place in the book bags of all scholars concerned with the contributions of this literature to our discipline.' - Joe Oppenheimer, University of Maryland, College Park, US Few social scientific concepts have gathered so much attention and so many followers in such a short period of time as the concept of social capital. The purpose of this authoritative volume is to review the foundations for this fast growing field. The selected articles embed the concept in core theoretical work in economics, political science, sociology, development theory, and philosophy. Topics include: contemporary conceptual and philosophical foundations; forms of social capital; and the relation of social capital to both development and democracy. This collection will provide an insightful reference source to students and researchers alike.