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Philanthropy and Democracy: Dangerous Liaisons?

April 5, 2017 - 6:00pm
Two Sigma Ventures
100 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor
New York, NY
Event Special Instructions: Event is public and free; however, guests are required to register and need to present ID at the door. We, unfortunately, will not be able to accommodate walk-ups. Click here to register.


We tend to think of philanthropy as unequivocally good, but philanthropy is also an exercise of power. And like all forms of power, especially in a democratic society, it deserves scrutiny. Join thought leaders from Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, the University of Chicago, and Princeton University, in conversation on this topic that rarely receives the serious attention it deserves.

This conversation will be anchored by the recently published edited volume, Philanthropy in Democratic Societies, edited by two of our speakers this evening. The volume brings together expert philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, historians, and legal scholars to ask fundamental and pressing questions about philanthropy’s role in democratic societies. The contributors balance empirical and normative approaches, exploring both the role philanthropy has actually played in societies and the role it should play. Together, they offer a vital assessment of philanthropy at a time when its power to affect public outcomes has never been greater.

Join the conversation with #GivingInDemocracy

Event Speakers:

Rob Reich is Professor of Political Science and a faculty co-director of Stanford PACS. His research focuses on contemporary political theory, and his most recent work examines the relationship between philanthropy, democracy, and justice.

Chiara Cordelli is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Her main area of research is contemporary analytical political theory.

Nannerl Koehane is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Affairs and the University Center for Human Values. She served as President of Wellesley College and Duke University, and has taught at Swarthmore, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania. As a political theorist, her major teaching and research interests are in leadership and inequality, with a particular emphasis on gender issues and the role of institutions.