Producing the Common Good: Philanthropic Investment Practices in 20th Century Denmark

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    Since the beginning of the 1990’s, civil society has attracted both scholarly and political interest as the ‘third sphere’ outside the state and the market. In contrast, the article shows that civil society is not a pre-existing location, with boundaries separating it from state and market, but constantly produced through practices. This will be studied through an exemplary Danish historical case of the Egmont Foundation 1920-2014. It shows how different and changing philanthropic investments practices took part in producing distinction between state, market and civil society through categorizing categories of deserving and underserving needy as part of the common good through changing donation practices and organisational forms. The contribution is twofold; First, showing the historical import of philanthropic investment practices in drawing the boundaries of the common good and second, how a processual practice approach to the study of philanthropic investment can provide a useful approach to study the production of civil society and its effect on the re-distribution of power relations in society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2017
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event8th International Conference of the European Research Network on Philanthropy. ERNOP 2017: The Changing Face of Philanthropy? Philanthropy in an Era of Hybridity and Alternative Forms of Organizing - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
    Duration: 13 Jul 201714 Jul 2017
    Conference number: 8


    Conference8th International Conference of the European Research Network on Philanthropy. ERNOP 2017
    LocationCopenhagen Business School
    Internet address

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