(Ab)use of Social Capital: An Indelible Negative Impression on Nigerian Socio-Political and Institutional Outfits

Samuel Okafor, Cordelia O. Idoko, Jennifer E. Obidiebube, Rita C. Ume


Social capital in sociology, economics, psychology and allied disciplines had been explored mostly, in the direction of its positive utility values in the society.  However, the phenomenon has more negative impacts on the public institutions of the developing nations, especially with regard to the roles of these institutions to the sustainable development agenda. While bureaucracy especially its impersonal principle has helped the developed nations to control the vulnerability of public institutions to social capital, inability of the developing nations to objectively follow bureaucratic principle has made their public institutions vulnerable to the abuse of social capital driven by ethnic/religious affiliations. Hence, this adverse social capital scenario, has generated a public service environment, where people are employed or appointed based on their proximity to powerful ethnic and religious groups. By extension, this has had far-reaching negative consequences on the development and sustainability in these nations as mediocre manpower continues to undermine efficiency and promote the culture of perpetual underdevelopment. In this paper, we expanded on the above notion using available secondary data in Nigeria and linking the dominant notions of social capital to bridge the gap in literature on social capital and public institutions in Nigeria.


Social capital; Bureaucratic principle; Sustainable Development; Public institutions; Nigeria

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14267/CJSSP.2021.2.6


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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X