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.

Rob Reich, Professor at Stanford University
Author of Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better (2018)

Maribel Morey, Assistant Professor at Clemson University and the Inaugural Philanthropy Guest Scholar at Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College
Editor and co-founder of HistPhil

Linsey McGoey, Associate Professor at University of Essex
Author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy (2016)

Invitation, program, and registration information will follow.

Seminariet arrangeras av Ersta Sköndal Bräcke Högskola.