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Bridging or Bonding?: Think Tanks in a Polarized Context
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6797-3892
Unviersity West .
2021 (English)In: Swedish Political Science Association Annual Conference, 2021Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Social capital is still often presumed as having positive consequences for societies and communities, less benign aspects are frequently overlooked. Nevertheless, scholarship distinguishes between bridging and bonding social capital to mark that social ties might have very different effects. In this paper, we study the “darker sides” of social capital, arguing that to understand the mechanisms that may propel benign and less benign formations of social capital we need to analyze these variations in context. We focus on think tanks, i.e., policy advice institutions, who are often described as organizations bridging various social fields and brokering contacts between various individuals. We argue, however, that a sharply polarized context turns think tanks to bonding, rather than bridging institutions. Our data consists of 40 interviews with representatives from Polish think tanks, collected in two waves (in 2013 and in 2020/2021), which allows us to trace changes over time. Since the radical right wing Law and Justice came to power in 2015, Polish politics and society are deeply polarized along the axis of the socio-cultural dimension (for or against liberal democracy). The analysis indicates that the networks Polish think tanks use for their activities have transformed from bridging between various groups of organizations, to bonding between similar types of organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021.
Keywords [en]
Think tank Polarization Social Capital Poland
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-47804OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-47804DiVA, id: diva2:1619411
Conference
Swedish Political Science Association Annual Conference, Mittuniversitetet, 29 september - 1 october 2021
Part of project
Policy Advice in Electoral democracies – Think Tanks in Hungary and Poland, The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 6-19Available from: 2021-12-13 Created: 2021-12-13 Last updated: 2021-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Sörbom, Adrienne

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf