About the Author

Tristan Claridge Author of Social Capital Research

Tristan Claridge
BA MNatResSt

Tristan Claridge completed a Masters thesis on social capital theory in 2004 at the University of Queensland. Although Tristan originally wanted to apply social capital theory to natural resource management outcomes in Australia, he found that the current understanding of social capital was not sufficiently conceptualised to allow this application[1].

Where the majority of authors on the subject seem to approach social capital from a uni-disciplinary point, Tristan has cross cut these disciplines in this study.

The most important finding in this study is the steps towards a new conceptualisation of social capital. Tristan feels that this process is far from complete and will require extensive broad investigation into the underlying processes – particularly the direction of causality involved in many of the determinants of social capital. It should be highlighted that Tristan does not feel that this conceptualisation of social capital is sufficiently rigorous to be applied and further work is still required by questioning academics.

This site is the result of extensive investigation into social capital from various perspectives, sociology, political science, economics and psychology.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any points of clarification or if you would like to discuss any issues.

Since completing the research featured on this site, Tristan has been involved in research into behaviour change, university teaching and developing several businesses.

Tristan taught environmental science courses at the University of the Sunshine Coast from 2004 to 2013 on a part-time basis, including lecturing, tutoring, course development and course coordination. Tristan has taught environmental ethics, sustainable development, geographic information systems, environmental planning, and contemporary Australia courses.

Since 2004 Tristan has established several successful businesses mostly relating to social and environmental sustainability and appropriate technology. Businesses include Decompression (an Australian web development company), Green Damselfly (supporting eco ethical enterprises), Australian Organic Food Directory (supporting the organic food industry), Sales Media (an online promotion and marketing company), Eviport (a social networking and video streaming company), and a few other businesses.

Tristan is actively researching in the field of social capital and is still intently interested in the concept and its application after over 20 years researching in the field. Tristan welcomes comments, questions, and input into this website.


  1. It was difficult to justify the application of social capital to natural resource management given the lack of rigour in the literature at the time. ^

6 thoughts on “About the Author”

  1. Avatar
    vencatasawmy rajendramootoo

    excellent researh work congrats
    im helping a colleague for her assingment on social capital n code of ethics

    i hold a simple diploma in social work from the university of mauritius n working as asenior social security officer in the ministry of social security

  2. Avatar

    Hi Tristan-

    I’m working on a thesis involving whether the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) has been effective in reducing challenges (appeals/litigation) to USFS & BLM forest restoration projects. Particularly, I’m seeking to ground CFLRP in the Social Capital literature. I thought that since you had originally been interested in applying the theory to natural resources, that you might have some expertise in this area.

    Great website by the way…I’m bookmarking it.

    Thanks and I look forward to your reply.

    1. Avatar

      Thanks for your kind comments. I certainly have some strong views about the social capital consequences of projects (see my recently published work on the integration of social capital and participation for some examples). I think that way in which a lot of projects are conducted results in very poor utilisation of social capital and in many cases severely damages future utilisation of local social capital.

      I’d be interested to discuss this with you further.

  3. Avatar
    George James Cooke

    Thank you for this excellent overview to Social Capital. I am undertaking research into older adult learners and one of my strands is considering how the concept of Social Capital can be applied to reinforce the argument that government should support older adults in many diverse ways within the scope of what could be called lifelong learning in order to alleviate pressures on other services. It seems to me the attraction of this is potentially different to the stakeholders: the concept of ‘Capital’ might appeal to policy makers, the “Social” draws favour from people themselves. This is regardless of any definition being applied.
    Your work is enabling me to consider the interpretations and to build a hopefully reasoned argument as to how we might consider SC as currency for those making policy and those affected by it.
    Extremely useful with an attempt to be balanced – many thanks.

    1. Avatar

      This is very interesting article on Social Capital. I am currently researching my Masters thesis on Social Capital (Putnam) and Symbolic Capital ( Bourdieu) as the two main prongs of the work. The thrust is from the decline in traditional crown green bowling and the failure of recruitment of new members. There is a generational issue, as well as a social, economic and long wave (Schumpeter) view I feel. The decline in traditional activities such as outdoor crown green bowling is interesting as a focal point since it may be symptomatic of changes in society. Your point about relevance and measurement, is something that I would also like to address, since the symptomatic model would need to be multi dimensional across disciplines. I have particular interest in the K wave theory or long wave economic theory of Schumpeter, since social change, and economic crisis appear to coincide. A lot more to research but enormously interesting.

      With regard to George James Cooke’s work, I am an older adult (68) years, returned to University in 2009 as an undergrad in sociology. Received my degree in 1012 and currently I am engaged in my Masters, with high hope of going onto Phd level.

      In 1975 in the UK Geoffrey Holland now Sir Geoffrey Holland, introduced the learning escalator into the UK. It is hard to remember that in the 1970’s relatively recently. Apprenticeships finished at aged 21. If you had not got your A levels and O levels before you left school that was it. The escalator policy allowed people of all ages to get on and off and back on to the educational escalator through out their lives.
      There is of course a downside to this, since it served to increase the expectations and job specifications of Employers. This has served to exclude on the basis of education alone. If one is only judged on educational achievement wage differentials, become related to education and education to status. Eventually one will need a degree to serve in a retail outlet.Thus reducing the currency of higher education. This is of course only my view.

  4. Avatar

    Hi Tristan,
    I am Msc student in Agricultural and applied economic I am interesting to use the the concept of social capital to study the economic performance of agricultural cooperative. I want to study the influence of linking network to economic performance of cooperative. How can I measure the linking network?

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