Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2004


Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 14, No. 1, 2004. Copyright © 2004 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


The relationship between political theory and economic development is often overlooked. In this research, political theorizing about what makes democracies work is linked to the production of wealth in rural Nebraska towns. Evidence shows that social capital in rural settings actually can help with economic development. The evidence also shows that suburban towns may actually inhibit the development of social capital.