Rethinking Asset-Based Community Development Strategies in Post-Earthquake China: The role of social capital


To date, the discussion of asset-based community development strategies has focused on the ways in which tangible assets contribute to the material aspects of life. This paper adopts a different perspective by concentrating on the role of intangible assets, that is, social capital, in community development. Via semi-structured interviews with users of a resource center’s services and leaders of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and a quasi-governmental organization, the author explores the ways in which social capital helps community redevelopment (especially rehabilitation) in post-earthquake China. The paper concludes that there is room for NGOs to adopt a bottom-up approach to community development provided they maintain an apolitical and knowledge-specific stance.