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Accountable and Thus Legitimate?: A Comparative Study of Philanthropists
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Public Administration. Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Academy of Public Administration.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1477-2493
2020 (English)In: Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, ISSN 0899-7640, E-ISSN 1552-7395, Vol. 49, no 6, p. 1210-1232Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article takes a comparative qualitative approach to explore the intertwined external accountability and legitimacy attempts of independently wealthy philanthropists. By comparing accountability forums and institutional logics stated by philanthropists, it is investigated to whom they are externally accountable and how they legitimate their controversial funding of public goods. The study compares the external accountability and legitimacy attempts of philanthropists with that of public agencies, corporations, and fundraising-dependent nonprofits. Empirically, this is a cross-sectional study of funders supporting human embryonic stem cell research in either California or Sweden. The study shows that it is through local isomorphism, rather than any specific accountability forum or institutional logic, that philanthropists are accountable and thus legitimate their giving. This is in contrast to other types of funders, which are more similar within each form when comparing accountability forums across societies, and more similar within societies in their usage of institutional logics, with certain patterned statements. In addition, philanthropists in both societies are more detached than any other type of funder as regards both specific patient populations and the general electorate. This finding raises questions on what philanthropists’ private funding for public purposes actually entails. © The Author(s) 2020.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2020. Vol. 49, no 6, p. 1210-1232
Keywords [en]
comparative approach, external accountability forums, human embryonic stem cell research, institutional logics, legitimacy, philanthropists
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-41214DOI: 10.1177/0899764020925916ISI: 000541272700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85086246467OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-41214DiVA, id: diva2:1445925
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius FoundationKjell and Marta Beijer FoundationClas Groschinski Memorial Foundation
Note

Funders: Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund, the Kjell and Märta Beijer Foundation, the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, the PhD Fellowship of ARNOVA, Stiftelsen Clas Groschinskys Minnesfond for Behavioral and Social Research, and the Foundation for Economics and Law.

Available from: 2020-06-23 Created: 2020-06-23 Last updated: 2021-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Weinryb, Noomi

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
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