During the seminar, Dr. Nurseit Niyazbekov gave a comprehensive overview of the researches on social capital. In particular, he provided information on the works of Dr. Robert Putnam, prominent American political scientist who first used the term “social capital”. Moreover, he talked about the important aspects of formation and use of social capital, making some examples of the use of social capital in different societies. Dr. Niyazbekov also noted that social capital could be positive and negative, and gave information about each of these two concepts.
Positive social capital increases population's participation in social activities and organizations, contributing to the public's active involvement in the daily life of political events. While in negative social capital, people adapt to their stable and routine lives, which leads to the loss of internal dynamism in relation to events. In this regard, in countries with a high level of democracy the social capital is positive, while negative social capital is dominant in low-income countries.
He touched upon the national development strategies for human capital such as “Kazakhstan-2050” and “Salamatty Kazakhstan”. Based on these strategies, investment in human capital is very important for the country’s socio-economic development. He also added that Kazakhstan should pay more attention to the concept of human capital.
In the course of the seminar, Nurseit Niyazbekov gave a lot of information about the current state and trends of social capital in Kazakhstan. He shared his research on social capital in the city of Taldykorgan. His research has highlighted the importance of the newspaper “Sary Taldykorgan”, which contributed to the development of social capital in Taldykorgan and the region, and shared his analysis of the relations between social capital and democracy.
At the end of the seminar, the participants exchanged views on issues of social capital development in Kazakhstan.