Robert D. Putnam

Robert David Putnam ( born January 9, 1941 in Rochester ) is a sociologist and political scientist and professor at Harvard University. For his research, he received one of the world's highest awards for political scientists.


In his work, Putnam employs in particular with the issues of " social trust, " "civil society" and " social capital." In Making Democracy Work, he blames interpersonal networks, social trust and community-based norms and values ​​for the differences in performance of Italian regional governments to reform the region being. Not the economic development, but social capital is the most important prerequisite for the efficiency of democratic institutions.

His 1995 published first as an essay in 2000 as a study book Bowling Alone, in which he stated the decline of civic engagement, caused a sensation and brought him even invitations of the U.S. ex-president Bill Clinton, the Bush administration and the British government one.

In addition, Putnam developed the Two - Level Game Theory, which concludes that international agreements can only be successfully brokered if they also bring benefits at the national level.


  • 2006: Johan Skytte Prize ( Skytteanska priset ) in Political Science at the University of Uppsala the Skytte Foundation
  • 2012: National Humanities Medal


  • Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1993, ISBN 0-691-07889-0
  • Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Simon & Schuster, New York 2000 ( review of Warnfried Dettling: "decline of social capital, Robert D. Putnam at the loss of a sense of community and commitment. ", Time, October 19, 2000 )
  • Society and public spirit. Social capital in international comparison. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 2001, ISBN 3-89204-840-1
  • "E Pluribus Unum. Diversity and Community in the Twenty - first Century The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture " Scandinavian Political Studies 30, no 2 ( June 2007 ): 137-174.