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Bonding vs linking social capital

Global social capital inequalities and the implications of the neo-Tocquevillian thesis for a digitalising world

Add to calendar 2022-12-05 11:00 2022-12-05 13:00 Europe/Rome Bonding vs linking social capital Sala Triaria Villa Schifanoia YYYY-MM-DD


05 December 2022

11:00 - 13:00 CET


Sala Triaria

Villa Schifanoia

This lecture hosted by the EUI Eastern Europe as a Laboratory of Change working group focuses on global social capital inequalities.

Inequalities in social capital are accepted today as important aspects of social and economic prosperity. Based on global comparative individual level data from the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) as well as macro level data from a number of international datasets, the study finds substantial variation in the three types of social capital across social classes, in a cross-country perspective as well as among two types of societies, high-trust and low-trust societies. Social capitals show significant correlation with economic and social prosperity outcomes as well. In more prosperous countries there is an abundance of bridging and linking social capital, whereas people in economically and socially less prosperous societies rely more on bonding social capital. As to the class-related inequalities of social capitals, our evidence suggests that more advantageous class positions are associated with higher levels of bridging and linking social capital, whereas the lower classes hold higher levels of bonding social capital. Multilevel analysis as well as a number of individual-level predictors in regression models confirm these patterns with minor exceptions. 

When extending the theory of the three types of social capital by integrating the perspective of the three digital divides, our investigation of global social capital inequalities reveals three typical patterns across 76 countries worldwide: the posture of digitalised, industrialised and traditional societies. This evidence on the social embeddedness of digitalisation in the pre-pandemic world offers a framework for thinking about policy interventions to mitigate the sources and consequences of the vast inequalities uncovered in the study and serves as a standard against which to measure the impact of COVID-19 triggered digitalisation. 

Empirical results presented are based on:

Katalin Füzér, Ákos Huszár, Ákos Bodor, Lajos Bálint & Attila Pirmajer (2020) 

Social capitals, social class, and prosperity in high-trust and low-trust societies, International Journal of Sociology, 50:1, 48-67, DOI: 10.1080/00207659.2019.1684081.

Katalin Füzér, László Szerb, Dávid Erát, Réka Horeczki, Bence Völgyi. Global social capital inequalities in the context of the digital divides. Msc under review.

Katalin Füzér holds a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked on the history of the political language of rights during her fellowships at the Free University, Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Legal History, Frankfurt am Main. She is currently Associate Professor and head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Katalin’s research on trust, social capitals, and the digital transformation covers both inequalities as well as innovation potentials, drawing the policy implications of these processes in a global and European comparative perspective. Her most recent publication is: Varieties of Entrepreneurship on Europe’s Periphery: Illiberal Hungary in Historical Context. International Journal of Sociology, 52:5, 325-333 

Please register in order to get a seat.


Francesca Parenti

Scientific Organiser(s):

Monika Baar (EUI)


Katalin Füzér (University of Pécs)

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