Social capital: red herring or right on? the Jamaican perspective

The discourse on social capital continues in the development arena, within which the concept is examined both as a means to an end and as an end in itself. Strengthening social capital begins at the community level. As the linkages become internalised and institutionalised, the networks created offer both state (weak or strong) and citizens a means of encouraging participatory decision making, problem identification, and problem solutions. As the Jamaican example reflects, development in small island states is an iterative process and not top-down. The paper therefore demonstrates the critical use of the concept as a part of the strategising of national development goals.