Sorry I’ve been offline for a bit.
Here is a this-and-that post regarding various developments in social capital.
- The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has a wonderful new revamped site on Volunteering in America. They also headlined findings from the Current Population Survey data in 2008 on volunteering and civic engagement showing volunteering remaining steady in 2008 and “[t]he number of people who worked with their neighbors to fix a community problem rose by 31 percent, from 15.2 million in 2007 to 19.9 million in 2008”, a remarkable increase in a year, which CNCS attributes to the Obama Administration’s United We Serve initiative and Serve.gov website.
- The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) is releasing a new report “Civic Health and Hard Times” on September 9, 2009 at their annual conference on the “Opportunity Cost of Civic Engagement“. Stay tuned for the findings. We have some active research in this area on the impact of individual and aggregate economic hardship on levels of civic engagement which we have not published yet; a description of some of the literature in this area can be found in this earlier post.
- Various sites have blogged (here or here) or described an interesting conference in late July at Tufts (The Obama Administration’s Civic Agenda After Six Months), organized by Peter Levine at Tufts, and bringing together some scholars on civic engagement (including my HKS colleagues Archon Fung and Marshall Ganz) with folks from the Obama Administration (like Allen Solomont from CNCS) trying to set an agenda for the Obama Administration.
- Also in early August was the Strengthening Our Nation’s Democracy II conference in DC (organized by Demos. AmericaSpeaks and Everyday Democracy). See descriptions of the content here.
- And BTW, my colleague Robert Putnam was quoted in a Forbes article entitled “Loneliness Can Kill You” about the research of University of Chicago neuroscientist and physiologist, John T. Cacioppo.