Social capital and lifelong learning are central to current policy concerns both in the UK and internationally. The British government and powerful international agencies, such as the World Bank, present investment in social capital as a way of promoting neighbourhood renewal, community health and educational achievement. This book confirms the significance of social capital as an analytical tool, while challenging the basis on which current policy is being developed. It: offers a wealth of evidence on a topic that has become central to contemporary government; provides a detailed empirical investigation of the relationship between social capital, knowledge creation and lifelong learning; relates the findings to wider policy debates; questions the dominant theoretical models of social capital; and confronts the assumption of many policy makers that the obvious solution to social problems is to 'invest in social capital'. The book is aimed at researchers in education, policy studies and urban studies, as well as those concerned with an understanding of contemporary policy concerns. It provides readers with a detailed analysis of relevant evidence, as well as a trenchant critique of current conceptual and policy preoccupations.