FLUID JURISDICTIONS (2020) and Solid Perpetuities
Forum on Waqfs / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

FLUID JURISDICTIONS (2020) and Solid Perpetuities

Editors’ Note: Continuing HistPhil‘s forum on waqfs, Leilah Vevaina reviews Nurfadzilah Yahaya’s Fluid Jurisdictions (2020), while discussing her own research on religious endowments in India and the Straits Settlements. Vevaina writes: “This axis of what colonial authorities recognized as public, and hence, as charitable giving, versus familial hence private giving, was the key evaluator of why … Continue reading

The Unintended Effects of Waqf Litigation: A Review of FLUID JURISDICTIONS (2020)
Forum on Waqfs / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

The Unintended Effects of Waqf Litigation: A Review of FLUID JURISDICTIONS (2020)

Editors’ Note: Continuing HistPhil‘s forum on waqfs, Nada Moumtaz relates Nurfadzilah Yahaya’s Fluid Jurisdictions (2020) with her own research of waqf litigation in twentieth century Beirut, Lebanon. Moumtaz argues: “Beyond Yahaya’s explanation of waqf litigation among the Arab diaspora in nineteenth century Southeast Asia, I want to suggest—based on my own research of twentieth century … Continue reading

Surplus and Colonial Charity
Forum on Waqfs / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Surplus and Colonial Charity

Editors’ Note: Launching HistPhil’s forum on waqfs, Nurfadzilah Yahaya introduces her new book, Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020) In this presentation of Fluid Jurisdictions, Yahaya notes that: “While scholarship on the history of human generosity is haunted by discussions of altruistic ends and self-regarding motives, the specific … Continue reading

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on Waqfs
Forum on Waqfs / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on Waqfs

Editors’ Note: This post, by HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey, introduces HistPhil’s forum on waqfs, which will be featured on this site for the next weeks. If Andrew Carnegie invented modern philanthropy, Bill Gates has become its global evangelist. For many HistPhil readers, including myself at times, this statement might not seem to be controversial. After … Continue reading

Updating HistPhil’s Reading List
Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State

Updating HistPhil’s Reading List

Editors’ Note: In response to Black Lives Matter protests, #BlackInTheIvory, and nearly daily updates of leading U.S. philanthropies, nonprofits and for-profits proclaiming their allyship to the BLM movement, we have questioned what role we should and could play here on HistPhil. As a first step, we are amplifying the published works of Black scholars both … Continue reading

A Small Grant Can Go a Long Way: Building Support for Native American Governance
In remembrance / Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State

A Small Grant Can Go a Long Way: Building Support for Native American Governance

Editors’ Note: Michael Lipsky tells the story of a small Ford Foundation grant, made by Norm Collins in 1986, that led to the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and paved the way for Ford’s Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations awards program. This post … Continue reading

Why Exercise Restraint when Funneling Money into Politics? An Appeal to Mega Donors’ Self Interest
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and the State

Why Exercise Restraint when Funneling Money into Politics? An Appeal to Mega Donors’ Self Interest

Editors’ Note: Reflecting on her new book, co-authored with Jeffrey Henig and Rebecca Jacobsen, Outside Money in School Board Elections: The Nationalization of Education Politics, Sarah Reckhow draws our attention to Los Angeles and details a new trend among mega donors in coordinating their philanthropic giving and political contributions. Reckhow argues that this behavioral shift … Continue reading

Choosing between Financial Viability and a Political Voice: A History of the NAACP’s Tax Status
Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State

Choosing between Financial Viability and a Political Voice: A History of the NAACP’s Tax Status

Editors’ Note: Bringing historical context to the NAACP’s decision in 2017 to change its tax status from a 501(c)3 to 501(c)4, HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey argues that the NAACP’s announcement “should be understood as yet another move by an organization long deciding between accepting political silence and financial viability as a 501(c)3 or gaining political voice and financial vulnerability as … Continue reading

The UK Civil Society Strategy and  The History of State vs Philanthropic Welfare Provision
Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in the News

The UK Civil Society Strategy and The History of State vs Philanthropic Welfare Provision

Editors’ Note: Against the backdrop of the UK government’s new Civil Society Strategy, Rhodri Davies provides broader historical context to UK debates on civil society, the state, and welfare needs.  The UK government recently launched its major new Civil Society Strategy, billed as the first attempt in 15 years to outline a holistic vision for the relationship … Continue reading

A new social contract: Reconciling the welfare state and societal change through philanthropy
Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

A new social contract: Reconciling the welfare state and societal change through philanthropy

Editors’ Note: HistPhil‘s forum on philanthropy in Sweden closes with a contribution from Johanna Palmberg and Pontus Braunerhjelm. The two authors describe shifting intellectual currents in Sweden (and Europe more broadly) which are making it increasingly favorable for philanthropy and conclude by suggesting ways for philanthropic giving to play an increasingly greater role in European societies … Continue reading

The Democratic Challenges of Philanthropy in Sweden
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

The Democratic Challenges of Philanthropy in Sweden

Editors’ Note: Noomi Weinryb and Jaakko Turunen continue HistPhil‘s forum on philanthropy in Sweden.  In the historical context of the Swedish welfare state, we will here discuss philanthropy as an economic expression of pluralism, which may be interpreted as historically antithetical to democratic practice in Sweden. We will hypothesize what an expansion and development of philanthropy could … Continue reading

Public money for public causes and private money for private causes? A short history of tax incentives for charitable giving in Sweden
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

Public money for public causes and private money for private causes? A short history of tax incentives for charitable giving in Sweden

Editors’ Note: Continuing HistPhil’s forum on philanthropy in Sweden, Johan Vamstad suggests that Swedes’ longstanding resistance to tax incentives for charitable giving is rooted in a particularly Swedish distinction between the public and the private. Sweden is one of very few countries in the world that does not offer its citizens any tax incentives for charitable giving, something … Continue reading

Philanthropy in Sweden: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Opportunities
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

Philanthropy in Sweden: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Opportunities

Editors’ Note: Providing a sweeping history of civil society in Sweden, Lars Trägårdh continues our forum on philanthropy in Sweden. Based on this historical lens, Lars explains the relative novelty of philanthropy in Sweden and concludes by suggesting the types of philanthropy-state relations to which Swedes likely will be most receptive. Compared with most other … Continue reading

Sweden as Exemplar of Scientific Planning Philanthropy
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

Sweden as Exemplar of Scientific Planning Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: This HistPhil forum on philanthropy in Sweden opens with an essay by HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey. It will be followed by contributions from Lars Trägårdh, Johan Vamstad, Noomi Weinryb, Johanna Palmberg, Pontus Braunerhjelm, and Jaakko Turunen. Though planned for some months, we are publishing this forum right as a national conversation in the United … Continue reading

Giving Our Taxes: Historical Perspective on Charitable Donations as SALT Cap Work-Around
Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in the News

Giving Our Taxes: Historical Perspective on Charitable Donations as SALT Cap Work-Around

Editors’ Note: Shirley Tillotson offers some historical perspective on recent proposals that would allow taxpayers to make charitable donations to state and local governmental agencies as a way of dealing with new provisions in the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that limit state and local tax (SALT) deductions. The border between tax and charity is patrolled … Continue reading

The Return of Hookworm and the Limits of Public Health Philanthropy
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State

The Return of Hookworm and the Limits of Public Health Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis reflects on a recent article in the Guardian on the return of hookworm to the American South. There’s been no shortage of news stories over the last several months that delivered a punch to the gut of our national self-regard, challenging Whiggish notions of moral progression that still color … Continue reading

“We will ‘Totally Destroy’ the Johnson Amendment”
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State

“We will ‘Totally Destroy’ the Johnson Amendment”

Editors’ Note: During a speech at the 64th annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington last week, Donald Trump reaffirmed his campaign promise to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.” Here, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan offers a history of the amendment and some analysis on its likely future. President Trump announced at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday … Continue reading

The U.S. Fiscal State and the History of American Philanthropy
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and the State

The U.S. Fiscal State and the History of American Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: We’ve been on a brief hiatus while working on some history of philanthropy manuscripts, and at the same time, internalizing the U.S. presidential election results. On the latter topic, fellow HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis published a piece for The Chronicle of Philanthropy earlier this month. Two weeks ago at ARNOVA, I presented some initial thoughts on philanthropy, American race … Continue reading

Reconsidering Progressive Era Opposition to Foundation Activity: The Farm Demonstration Project Controversy
Philanthropy and the State

Reconsidering Progressive Era Opposition to Foundation Activity: The Farm Demonstration Project Controversy

Editors’ Note: HistPhil continues its forum on philanthropy and the state with this contribution from Jesse Tarbert. Scholars of philanthropy have long been preoccupied with puzzling out the motives of the progenitors and leaders of the large foundations of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Were the philanthropists benevolent industrial statesmen? Clever Robber Barons? Or … Continue reading

How Foundations Got the U.S. Government Invested in International Population Control
Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

How Foundations Got the U.S. Government Invested in International Population Control

Editors’ Note: Emily Klancher Merchant continues HistPhil’s forum on Philanthropy and the State with a post outlining research she recently presented at a panel on “Private Foundations and Public Policy” at the Policy History Conference in Nashville. HistPhil recently published a post from Anne Fleming based on a paper she presented on that same panel. In … Continue reading