First Advisor

Birol Yesilada

Date of Publication

Summer 8-28-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Affairs and Policy


Public Affairs and Policy




Intergovernmental cooperation -- European Union countries, Social capital (Sociology) -- European Union countries, Social rights -- European Union countries, Toleration -- Social aspects -- European Union countries



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 236 pages)


A culture of accommodation and tolerance is a necessary part of establishing and preserving a functional multi-national and multi-ethnic European Union. Civil society organizations and their associated social capital have been shown to foster civic capacity and achievement of public policy goals. However, social capital that is based on group identity can also contribute to a sense of intolerance towards out-groups, undermining the stated tolerance objectives of the social pillar of the European Union. States with a strong presence alongside civil society are expected to be curb the development of the exclusionary bonding form of social capital in favor of bridging social capital which will improve progress toward policy goals.

This study tests the link between government capacity, social capital and tolerance using data from the 1990-2009 waves of the World Values Survey and European Values Study. Using path analysis and multi-level models of the relationships between political capacity, social capital and intolerance, the model establishes that government capacity enhances bridging social capital and which increases social tolerance. The study fills a gap in understanding how government capacity and policy can result in improved social capital even with greater diversity. A proposed relationship between political capacity and bonding forms of social capital was not supported.


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