Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality (Paperback)

Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality By Emma Saunders-Hastings Cover Image

Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality (Paperback)


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
1 on hand, as of Aug 8 1:18am
 A thought-provoking challenge to our ideas about philanthropy, marking it as a deeply political activity that allows the wealthy to dictate more than we think.

Philanthropy plays a huge role in supporting the provision of many public goods in contemporary societies. As a result, decisions that affect public outcomes and people’s diverse interests are often dependent on the preferences and judgments of the rich. Political theorist Emma Saunders-Hastings argues that philanthropy is a deeply political activity. She asks readers to look at how the power wielded by philanthropy impacts democracy and deepens political inequality by enabling the wealthy to exercise outsize influence in public life and by putting in place paternalistic relationships between donors and their intended beneficiaries. If philanthropy is to be made compatible with a democratic society of equals, it must be judged not simply on the benefits it brings but on its wider political consequences. Timely and thought-provoking, Private Virtues, Public Vices will challenge readers’ thoughts on what philanthropy is and how it truly affects us.
Emma Saunders-Hastings is assistant professor in political science at the Ohio State University. Her writing on philanthropy has appeared in the Journal of Politics, the Boston Review, and Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues.
Product Details ISBN: 9780226816159
ISBN-10: 022681615X
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: March 23rd, 2022
Pages: 256
"Ms. Saunders-Hastings, a political scientist at Ohio State University, believes that philanthropy is in tension with democracy—may even be harmful to it. Her critique is worth taking seriously. . ."
— Wall Street Journal

"In Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality, Emma Saunders-Hastings reminds us that contributing private wealth for the public good—by definition—has always been a political act. . . . the book is timely—and timeless, for it goes beyond calling for reforms to suggest a framework for thinking not only about philanthropy but also about democracy, equality, and justice."
— Philanthropy News Digest

“The best philosophical illumination of the tension-ridden relationship between philanthropy and democracy. Better still, in exploring the institutional design of contemporary philanthropy, Saunders-Hastings makes original contributions to democratic theory itself, especially as concerns the relationship?between ideal and non-ideal theory and the basis of objections to paternalism.”
— Rob Reich, Stanford University

“Philanthropy is a hot topic these days. This crisply and clearly written book reframes?the?ethical?discussion focused on rich people/countries’ debt to those less well-off and?recasts?practical concerns about effective giving to?focus on the?politics and power?of giving.?Private Virtues, Public Vices?poses?challenging questions in this age of global inequality.?Saunders-Hastings couples?precise arguments?with?thoughtfully chosen?real-world examples?to convey?a strong sense of urgency.”
— Lisa Jane Disch, University of Michigan