Many congratulations to Tricia Wang who has been accepted into the Dissertation Workshop on Social Capital and Civic Engagement in Asia, hosted by the The Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. Only twelve students were accepted!
This dissertation workshop, taking place May 2009, seeks to engage scholars whose work explores the impacts of collective action and social capital, and its various component parts (trust, norms, networks and associations) in diverse parts of Asia, where the nature of state, civil society and alternate civilities is changing rapidly. The premise is that the “productivity” of civic engagement in terms of enhancing the economic and political vitality of local communities depends, to a large extent, on the responsiveness of the local government and the nature of civil society/alternate civilities in the region under examination. As such, empirical research that seeks to discover and document how social capital and civic engagement interact with other aspects of social and political life to enhance, or perhaps diminish, well-being is important to both intellectual and policy debates taking place across a variety of academic disciplines. Further, researchers who focus on Asia are well positioned to contribute to theoretical debates about the relative usefulness of the concept of “social capital” and associated terms such as social cohesion, cooperation, public participation, empowerment, and community as ways of apprehending the complex dynamics of Asian settings. The workshop thus seeks to bring empirical research and re-theorizations from Asia into a productive dialogue.