Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Capital Research Center (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

A Conversation with Civic Gifts Author Elisabeth S. Clemens (Part 2 of 2)

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Part 1 | Part 2

Many important questions have recently arisen again about the roles of the public and private sectors in securing societal well-being—including the nature and scope of those roles, the extent of authority exercised by those filling them, the degrees to which the sectors can and should interact with each other, and the standards of accountability to which they should be held as they do so.

University of Chicago sociology professor Elisabeth S. Clemens’ comprehensive Civic Gifts: Voluntarism and the Making of the American Nation-State impressively details how all of these questions have been asked, and answered, throughout U.S. history.

In Civic Gifts, which my Giving Review co-editor Dan Schmidt and I have reviewed, Clemens thoroughly examines how civil society has related to the state, and whether they can stand apart even if they want to do so. She explores whether they—whether we, really—can together develop and sustain a shared sense of nationhood despite all the differences with each local community, state, and the nation as a whole.

Clemens was kind enough to speak with me earlier this month. In the first of two part of our discussion, which is here, we talk about how politics is embedded in social life, Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt, the March of Dimes, and the power of volunteerism.

The 21-minute video below is the second part of our conversation, during which we discuss the political construction of philanthropy and charity, current strains on that construction, a potential revival of mutual aid, and what it might mean for our us all as a nation.

“[T]here are a set of legal constraints and advantages that come with this political construction of charity  and philanthropy in the contemporary world,” Clemens tells me.

I think we’re seeing that under strain in many ways in the U.S., but also around the world. We won’t effectively address those strains unless we recognize that there is a politics to constructing that distinction, to constructing charity and philanthropy as a field of activity that is legally constrained and legally advantaged.

Moreover, she says, “I think that it’s important for philanthropy to recognize that it is by definition, ‘ademocratic,’ not necessarily anti-democratic, but it operates on very different principles and it’s important to recognize the implications of that.”

Read part 1 of the article here.

This article originally appeared in the Giving Review on August 23, 2021.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.