Can Environmental Governance Benefit From an ICT-Social Capital Nexus in Civil Society?

Subas P. Dhakal

Abstract


Although the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to foster social capital in civil society has been duly acknowledged, few studies have empirically explored the ICT-social capital nexus in the context of community organizations. Huysman and Wulf (2004) consider the lack of interest in the area of ‘ICT and social capital’ as worrisome in today’s increasingly network-centric society. Since the prospect of ICT furthering social capital is simply too significant to ignore, this paper responds to this gap by reporting on one aspect of a 2008 survey of environmental community organizations (ECOs) undertaken to develop a broader understanding of the linkages between organizational social capital and information and communication technologies in the Perth region of Western Australia. By exploring the trend of ICT uptake, pattern of intra-organizational as well as inter-organizational interactions, and the association between ICT uptake and organizational interactions, this paper critically engages in the ‘ICT and social capital’ debate and discusses the implications of ICT-social capital nexus in the context of environmental governance. 

Keywords


civil society, environmental governance, ICT, social capital

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