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The new global governors: Globalization, civil society, and the rise of private philanthropic foundations

Gerard Clarke Orcid Logo

Journal of Civil Society, Volume: 15, Issue: 3, Pages: 197 - 213

Swansea University Author: Gerard Clarke Orcid Logo

Abstract

One of the important drivers of change within contemporary global civil society is the growing power and influence of private philanthropic foundations (PPFs). In the analysis below, I consider the cases of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the larg...

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Published in: Journal of Civil Society
ISSN: 1744-8689 1744-8697
Published: Abingdon Routledge 2019
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa49014
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Abstract: One of the important drivers of change within contemporary global civil society is the growing power and influence of private philanthropic foundations (PPFs). In the analysis below, I consider the cases of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the largest and fourth largest PPFs in the world today by wealth or assets, and, especially, their founders. I consider their influence within global civil society, within the context of international development, and the consequences of their activities for a range of international actors. I do so in the context of debate within the literature on the activities of PPFs and I side with advocates of critical scrutiny. In developing my argument, I draw on a range of sources including the financial statements and audited accounts of PPFs, of other non-governmental organizations and of selected inter-governmental organizations. I argue that the BMGF and OSF are engines of neoliberalism and potent symbols of a second distinct ‘gilded age’ and that their influence must be restrained through anti-trust measures and through greater taxation and regulation.
Keywords: Civil Society, Private Philanthropic Foundations, BMGF, OSF
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Issue: 3
Start Page: 197
End Page: 213