Philanthropy in Democratic Societies: History, Institutions, Values

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Rob Reich, Chiara Cordelli, Lucy Bernholz
University of Chicago Press, Sep 21, 2016 - Political Science - 352 pages
Philanthropy is everywhere. In 2013, in the United States alone, some $330 billion was recorded in giving, from large donations by the wealthy all the way down to informal giving circles. We tend to think of philanthropy as unequivocally good, but as the contributors to this book show, philanthropy is also an exercise of power. And like all forms of power, especially in a democratic society, it deserves scrutiny. Yet it rarely has been given serious attention. This book fills that gap, bringing together expert philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, historians, and legal scholars to ask fundamental and pressing questions about philanthropy’s role in democratic societies.

The contributors balance empirical and normative approaches, exploring both the roles philanthropy has actually played in societies and the roles it should play. They ask a multitude of questions: When is philanthropy good or bad for democracy? How does, and should, philanthropic power interact with expectations of equal citizenship and democratic political voice? What makes the exercise of philanthropic power legitimate? What forms of private activity in the public interest should democracy promote, and what forms should it resist? Examining these and many other topics, the contributors offer a vital assessment of philanthropy at a time when its power to affect public outcomes has never been greater.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Origins
17
Part II Institutional Forms
83
Part III Moral Grounds and Limits
203
Notes
267
Bibliography
295
List of Contributors
315
Index
317
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Rob Reich is the faculty director of the Center for Ethics in Society, faculty codirector of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and professor of political science at Stanford University, with courtesy appointments in the Department of Philosophy and the School of Education. He is the author or editor of many books, most recently Education, Justice, and Democracy, published by the University of Chicago Press. Lucy Bernholz is a senior scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and codirector of the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford University. She is the author of Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets. Chiara Cordelli is assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago.

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