Contemporary Philanthropy in the Spotlight: Pushing the Boundaries of Research on a Global and Contested Social Practice

Georg von Schnurbein, Marta Rey-García, Michaela Neumayr

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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This article is intended as the leading article in a special issue devoted to the achievements, limitations, opportunities and risks entailed in the research and practice of contemporary philanthropy. The article first characterizes philanthropy as a highly diverse and dynamic set of social practices that has only recently been subject to the systematic scrutiny of an emerging field of research, parallel to its rapid transformation and increased societal visibility. The main debates that emerged during the last two decades while researching the complexities of contemporary philanthropy are contextualized from the perspective of multiple disciplines; and the main foci for contentious conceptualizations and societal expectations explored. In this context, contributions of the special issues are summarized. Further avenues for pushing the boundaries of philanthropy research in ways inclusive of the dynamism, diversity, multi-disciplinarity and controversy that characterize the field, while at the same time providing meaningful answers to societal concerns about the potential and shortcomings of new philanthropic practices, are drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185 - 193
JournalVoluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509012 Social policy
  • 502023 NPO research

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