Social capital – the capacity of people to cooperate towards common aims – is an indispensable element of a free and prosperous society yet many studies demonstrate that it has been steadily eroded in recent decades.

Social pathologies such as the breakdown of the family, addiction, and deaths of despair are strongly correlated with weakening social ties and norms. The decline in social capital has had devastating real world consequences.


In this episode, Acton’s Dan Hugger talks with Maryann and Barry Keating, authors of the new book Rebuilding Social Capital, about the idea of social capital, its erosion, how economics and Catholic Social Teaching help to clarify the concept, and what their new research suggests is the path forward to rebuilding social capital.


Rebuilding Social Capital at Acton Book Shop – Maryann & Barry Keating


Excerpt from Rebuilding Social Capital – Maryann & Barry Keating


Centesimus annus


Gaudium et Spes


Mater et Magistra


‘Values of Americans: A Study of Ethics and Character, Harris Interactive Report Produces by Boy Scouts of America Youth and Family Research Center’


‘4-H Experiences Contributing to Leadership and Personal Development of 4-H Alumni’


‘From Mutual Aid to Welfare State: How Fraternal Societies Fought Poverty and Taught Character’


See for privacy and opt-out information.

Subscribe to Acton Line in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.