Is Philanthropy Compatible with Democracy?

The debate about the role of philanthropy in democratic societies has in recent years intensified. On the one hand, there are those who celebrate the accumulation of wealth and the benevolence of private givers, including the recent rise of “philanthrocapitalists”. On the other hand, there are those who ask if philanthropy, by its very nature, constitutes a threat to democracy and an egalitarian social contract.

How can we balance the egalitarian promises of democratic life with the desire for vibrant market economies? Can philanthropy play a role towards achieving both goals? Or should we be looking instead towards constructing a moral political economy founded on reciprocity and fairness as much as on competition and profit?

In this seminar, we bring together scholars who have from different perspectives analyzed the relationship between democracy and philanthropy. Among the invited scholars are Rob Reich, Professor at Stanford University, Maribel Morey, Assistant Professor at Clemson University and the Inaugural Philanthropy Guest Scholar at Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College and Linsey McGoey, Associate Professor at University of Essex.

Seminariet arrangeras av Ersta Sköndal Bräcke Högskola. Se alla medverkande och hela programmet här.