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Publication Details

Reference
Anyanwu, Chikadbya & Mathekga, Ralph  ( 2003) Specificities of social capital in rural African setting: the case of Gammalebogo communities in Limpopo Province South Africa, and the Ijaw Communities in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. CCS Grant Report : 1-32.

Summary
Abstract
The relationship between democratization and development is the most explored subject of enquiry after the debate on communism and capitalism. Since the 1960s, development scholars have assumed a challenging task of outlining the link between democratization and development. Social capital is understood in a way that it either compliments or impedes the link between democratization and development.

This study attempts to contribute to this debate by outlining specificities of social capital in the context of rural African setting and how that specific kind of social impacts upon the relationship between development and democratization. This is carried out by a comparison of two different communities i.e. the Ijaw communities in the Niger Delta in Nigeria and Gammalebogo communities in the Far North region of Limpopo Province in South Africa.

These two communities offer a viable case study towards the understanding of the relationship between democratization and development vis-à-vis the impacts of traditional leadership and a communal way of life. In essence, it is the hypothesis of this study that the notion of traditional leadership has been overlooked by “democratic governments”, and equally so by development scholars, in their exploration of the link between democratization and development. This results in a linear understanding of the process of development.

This way of approaching development inhibits further discoveries of different ways through which development is attainable, as we attempt to illustrate with the two case studies we selected in this paper. We observe specificities of social capital as a social phenomenon within the context of both Gammalebogo communities and Ijaw communities- the kind of social capital which according to established perceptions (Putnam, Huntington, for example), is believed to be conservative and therefore ultimately termed “bad social capital”. We take issues with the view that certain patterns of socialization should be deemed “bad social capital”.

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