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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Philanthropy debated

The idea that the targeted largesse of the super-rich can unlock the problems of global development and progress is a potent influence in the world of philanthropy, business and government. How valid is it?

Michael Edwards opens a new debate with a searching scrutiny of the arguments for extending business principles into the worlds of civil society and social change.


Philanthropy towards asylum seekers: friend or foe?

Due attention must be given to the decision-making processes and rationales that underpin and politicise philanthropy towards asylum seekers in the UK. There is a danger that philanthropy may become complicit in sealing the borders of the state of exception in which asylum seekers are already positioned, says Emily Bowerman.

Philanthrocapitalism: the defense

Today's big philanthropists understand the power of politics, and Michael Edwards should give them more credit

A life to save: direct action on poverty

People with more than enough have an immediate and personal obligation to help those living in extreme poverty, says Peter Singer.

(This article was first published on 11 May 2009)

Philanthrocapitalism: old myths, new realities

Michael Edwards's book on business-led philanthropy, "Just Another Emperor?", launched a vigorous public debate across the non-profit sector and beyond. Now, in an environment transformed by the global financial crisis, he reviews the arguments the book provoked, responds to critics, and reaffirms the importance of a "civil-society-strong" perspective in face of "a tsunami of pro-business thinking".

(This article was first published on 14 November 2008)

Philanthrocapitalism in denial

The super-rich new philanthropists want change. But their can-do know-how quick-fix solutions won't work in a world of systemic inequality and injustice, says Kavita N Ramdas of the Global Fund for Women.

Individual giving, collective action

Individual experiences shape the character of giving, and the power of collective action is more easily lived than taught. Can the new philanthropists discover its potency, asks Karen Weisblatt.

Philanthropy as solidarity

The aims of social-justice philanthropy require grantmaking organisations to align principle and practice from within, says Colin Greer of the New World Foundation.

Philanthropy on the commons

The future of philanthropy lies in joining the wave of open source peer-production that is enriching public assets, says Mark Surman.

Philanthropy’s business benefit

In viewing philanthrocapitalism through too narrow a lens, Michael Edwards misses how a business-based philanthropy can deliver sustainable social benefits, says Stewart J Paperin of the Open Society Institute.

Civil society and capitalism: a new landscape

Michael Edwards's critique of philanthocapitalism underplays how far a world of interdependency creates opportunity for civil society to force business into embracing social and legal progress, says Simon Zadek of AccountAbility.

The new philanthropy: power, inequality, democracy

The sceptical scrutiny of "philanthrocapitalism" by Michael Edwards is welcome. But markets and social enterprise could help realise the potential of a new donor economy, says Geoff Mulgan.

Philanthropy for social change: a response to Michael Edwards

Much of Michael Edwards's critique of "philanthrocapitalism" could equally be directed at the large established foundations, says Gara La Marche, who advocates a more active role in the "evaluation" processes that can make the practical case for social-justice philanthropy.

Philanthrocapitalism: after the goldrush

The application of business principles to the world of civil society and social change has fashion, wealth, power and celebrity behind it. But where is the evidence that "philanthrocapitalism" works, and are there better ways to achieve urgently needed global social progress? It's time to end the hype and start the debate, says Michael Edwards

(This article was first published on 19 March 2008)

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