Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Elites and inequality: a case study of plutocratic philanthropy in the UK

Glucksberg, Luna and Russell-Prywata, Louise (2020) Elites and inequality: a case study of plutocratic philanthropy in the UK. Working paper (49). International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

[img] Text (LSE-III_working-paper-49) - Published Version
Download (433kB)

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of elite philanthropy in the context of rising global inequality, asking whether large-scale philanthropic donations by elites are well placed to help tackle structural inequality. The challenges posed by such “plutocratic philanthropy” are explored through analysis of a network of the top 30 philanthropists in the United Kingdom and their connections to businesses and foundations, which shows their financial scale and connectivity. This new data is embedded into a review of the most recent social science literature on elites, which focuses on elite reproduction, how wealthy families perceive inequality, and how and why they engage in philanthropic activities. From this data, the paper develops an analysis of the current landscape of inequality, based on the work of British sociologist Mike Savage (2015), arguing that elite philanthropy as an ecosystem— made up of capital, people and institutions—is not well placed to systemically challenge inequalities, because the financial size of elites’ philanthropy tends to be dwarfed by their business activities, and the social functions of philanthropy help maintain the advantaged positions of elites. The paper concludes with informed policy considerations on the role of elite philanthropy in light of the results of the analysis.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: https://www.lse.ac.uk/International-Inequalities/I...
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2020 07:00
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/106162

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics