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Raffaella Y. Nanetti Ph.D.

Raffaella Y. Nanetti Ph.D.,

Raffaella Y. Nanetti is Professor of Urban Planning and Policy in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago, having served as the UPP director in the 1990s. Since 1998 she has directed the Great Cities London program, UIC's flagship study abroad program for undergraduate and graduate students. She was a member of the study team that carried out the twenty-year longitudinal study of Italian regional and local institutions (with Robert Putnam and Robert Leonardi) from which the concept of 'social capital' was empirically derived ('Making Democracy Work', Princeton University Press, 1992).

Since the mid 1990s she has worked on the application of the concept of social capital to the field of development planning. In the context of ongoing globalization, she has empirically identified social capital building strategies to promote sustainable communities. In particular, she has directed community development studies/projects sponsored by the World Bank in the Balkans (Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia, and Serbia), and has led projects and studies sponsored by the European Union, looking at social capital as a development tool (Slovenia, Naples and Italy, Spain, Portugal, Social Capital Observatory). She holds degrees from the Catholic University of Milan, Johns Hopkins University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Masters in City Planning), and University of Michigan (Ph.D in Urban and Regional Planning). She has published extensively and guest lectured at universities in the USA, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Presently, she is working on an experimental social capital building project in three of Naples' most deprived neighbourhoods, aiming at reducing the problem of children dropping out of school and being recruited by organized crime.




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