Fostering social capital: The case of community-owned pubs

Jacopo Sforzi, Michele Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to examine the relationship between community-owned enterprises and social capital in urban neighbourhoods. Focussing on community-owned pubs (COPs), the paper investigates how social capital elements have a role in generating these innovative organizations, which foster benefits for community members.
Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative research based on data gathered through 23 semi-structured interviews, in an in-depth case study analysis of three COPs located in Carshalton, Nunhead and Tottenham (all suburbs of London).
Findings: The paper shows how COPs foster the creation and accumulation of social capital both among their members (bonding capital) and the people living in the neighbourhood (bridging capital). Because of their missions and governance models, COPs create linkages among different people and enable citizens to act together for the common good, thus strengthening the development of a local community and contributing to enhancing the urban regeneration process. Originality/value: COPs are a recent trend, and there is a lack of scientific literature on this topic. The paper can help social scientists to understand new features of community development processes and the effects of the Localism Act (2011). Furthermore, the research can support organizations involved in assisting local communities, which aim to start up collective-owned pubs. It provides valuable scientific results, in relation to social aggregation and a positive impact on local contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-297
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Enterprise Journal
Issue number3
Early online date12 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2020


  • British pub
  • community development
  • community-owned pub
  • local development
  • social aggregation
  • social capital
  • urban regeneration


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