Bonding and bridging: Social capital and the communitarian critique of liberal markets

Contemporary communitarian critiques of classical liberalism argue that open markets do not produce the social capital necessary for their own functioning and that the excessive penetration of commercial values into public life may undermine the norms necessary to sustain a functioning market order. This article responds to these charges by setting out the role of the market in the spontaneous generation of the ‘bonding and bridging social capital’ that help to sustain a complex, advanced society.

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