Putnam draws on evidence including nearly 500,000 interviews over the last quarter century to show that we sign fewer petitions, belong to fewer organizations that meet, know our neighbors less, meet with friends less frequently, and even socialize with our families less often. We’re even bowling alone. More Americans are bowling than ever before, but they are not bowling in leagues. Putnam shows how changes in work, family structure, age, suburban life, television, computers, women’s roles and other factors have contributed to this decline.
He has been a member of Phi Beta Kappa since 1963, the International Institute of Strategic Studies since 1986, the American Philosophical Society since 2005 and the National Academy of Sciences since 2001. He has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences from 1980 and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy from 2001 and was a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, 1989 – 2006 and Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences , 1974–75 and 1988-89. Other fellowships included the Guggenheim 1988-89; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 1977 and 1979; Fulbright 1964-65 and 1977; SSRC-ACLS 1966-68; Ford Foundation , 1970; German Marshall Fund , 1979; SSRC-Fulbright , 1982; SSRC-Foreign Policy Studies, 1988–89 and was made a Harold Lasswell Fellow by the American Academy of Political and Social Science . Robert Putnam was a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations 1977-1978 and a member since 1981. He was a member of the Trilateral Commission from 1990 to 1998.  He was the President of the American Political Science Association (2001–2002).  He had been Vice-President 1997-98.