The social dimensions of resilience and their relationship with social capital have received little attention in climate change research. This article aims to provide an understanding of the structural, cognitive, and human rights-based interconnection of social capital and the social dimension of resilience. This article provides a rapid review of published studies on the social dimensions of resilience in the context of climate change. The search yielded 26 articles, 18 of which were related to the social dimension of resilience and were selected for review. Based on the findings, I elaborate on social capital, social-psychological, and right-based approaches to theorize social capital. The findings indicate a link between social capital and the social dimensions of resilience. The structural foundation for social capital is provided by the interconnection of bonding, bridging, and linking. The social psychological approach is linked to cognitive social capital that contributes to collective psycho-social resilience. The human rights-based approach educates about the social dimension of resilience through the lens of equity and power. To survive and thrive in environmental threats, communal solidarity requires the social interconnectedness formed by all three forms of social capital integrating social system, social values, reciprocal engagement, and inclusive social actions. This article provides theoretical knowledge about three dimensions of social capital, elaborating on the interconnections and need for theoretical triangulation in climate change studies.
The social capital approach provides an explicit resource network that extends from 'in-group' to 'among-groups' and is linked to a larger social network or support organizations and institutions. The social psychological approach interprets and connects the internalized sense of shared risk and responsibility to collective identification and belongingness. This method is useful for understanding the psycho-social process that underpins in-group solidarity and collective resilience. The social capital approach and social-psychological approach facilitate the process of resilience simultaneously by providing psychological and social resources. Hence, the two approaches remain intact and interdependent going through crisis over time. The right-based approach is appealing because it employs two concurrent processes to investigate resilience. First, it reveals the structural formation of inequalities based on socially and culturally situated power status. Second, is the transformation process, which leads to inclusive participation, empowerment, and access to resource access. Though rarely used in studies (as compared to the other two approaches), the right-based approach significantly addresses empowerment with equality to create social connections for shared social interests and communal needs.
The three approaches to frame social capital in the context of climate change are interconnected and built on one another to investigate and comprehend the social dimension of resilience.