On 4 November, the Fudan Centre hosted a seminar on “Comparing Dynamics of Social Capital in China and Japan” together with NIAS and ADI.
In the seminar, Prof. Shinya Ueno of Kumamoto University shared his research project findings about the vulnerability of social relationship in Japan’s aging society. He examined how social capital and social network are related to the structural change of communities in rural Japan. He suggested that, in the Japanese context, the community function and social capital are susceptible to damage by decreasing of residents’ population and networks.
Associate Professor Chunrong Liu, Executive Vice Director of Fudan-European Centre for China Studies, who has been working with Prof. Shinya Ueno on comparative studies of social capital, explained the formation of community-level social capital in post-socialist urban Shanghai. He argued that the dynamics of horizontal social ties are not rooted in the civil society sector, historical traditions or a result of individual-level rational choice as suggested by conventional wisdoms. Rather, the accumulation of social capital can be viewed as cumulative effect of the state-led urban community governance innovation.
The seminar stimulated a vivid discussion on the nature and dynamics of social capital in East Asia.