Almost all empirical researches reveal that social capital is a factor which enhances public goods, but scholars are divided into two strands of thought. According to the first stream, the enhancement of public goods does not need any network of social relations, while according to the second stream enhancement depends on the existence and well functioning of relational networks, to the point that it consists in the creation of social networks. Which one is right? In order to clarify the issue, one should ask: can a social relation have any added social value? If positive, how can we conceive of the added social value of social relations and how can we measure it? The Author claims that the added social value of social relations can be observed in those processes through which social capital and public (relational) goods re/generate or elide each other. These processes can be analyzed as morphogenetic cycles which work in temporal sequences and are not circular or recursive. By adopting this perspective, one can see and measure the added social value of social relations in primary and secondary networks leading to the emergence of public goods. The relational approach can give many evidences as to how and why different public goods are produced and/or enhanced depending on the different added social value of the social relations that constitute them.
Keywords: Social Capital, Relational Goods, Added Social Value, Social Relation