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Revisiting the Political Nature of Corporate Philanthropic Foundations: The Case of Sweden

  • Johan Hvenmark
  • Johan von EssenEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)

Abstract

Almost a decade ago, it was argued that scholarly knowledge largely overlooked the political nature of foundations in favor of issues related to legislation, board composition, management, and societal contributions. As this argument still seems to apply, the aim of this chapter is to explore the political nature of corporate foundations (CFs). To meet this aim, this chapter draws out the contours of an emergent social imaginary concerning welfare provision from the outlook of CFs. The analysis builds on both survey data regarding CFs in Sweden and interviews with representatives from four different Swedish CFs, concerning the interlock between organizational visions and perceived contributions to welfare in this national context. A main conclusion in the chapter relates to the intermediary position of these organizations as they straddle the boundaries of corporate contexts and a public welfare system where they have a potential to influence both these worlds simultaneously, by carrying norms, values, and practices between them. It is also here that parts of the political significance of CFs can be found—both as expressions and containers of an emergent political vision of welfare in society.

Keywords

Political significance Corporate foundations Welfare state Intermediary position 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University CollegeStockholmSweden

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