This chapter discusses the role of democratic institutions, and the creation and use of effective forms of civic capacity, in solving and managing several pressing problems in both developing and developed countries. It emphasizes the role of creative action in transforming the limited reach of existing civic capacity into an effective social and political movement. The chapter also analyzes how new relationships are built and social capital is created through a process of risk-sharing and confidence-building, and also focuses on the role of civic capacity and civic intermediaries in implementing change and improving the lives of the urban poor and their families in Cape Town, South Africa.
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