Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism

SUNY Press
Free sample

In this pathbreaking study of foundation influence, author Joan Roelofs produces a comprehensive picture of philanthropy’s critical role in society. She shows how a vast number of policy innovations have arisen from the most important foundations, lessening the destructive impact of global “marketization.” Conversely, groups and movements that might challenge the status quo are nudged into line with grants and technical assistance, and foundations also have considerable power to shape such things as public opinion, higher education, and elite ideology. The cumulative effect is that foundations, despite their progressive goals, have a depoliticizing effect, one that preserves the hegemony of neoliberal institutions.
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About the author

Joan Roelofs is Professor of Political Science at Keene State College. She is the author of Greening Cities: Building Just and Sustainable Communities.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 1, 2012
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Pages
281
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ISBN
9780791487273
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / General
Social Science / Philanthropy & Charity
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book is a work of conscience. It is the product of a long-standing feeling of obligation on my part to write something useful for a special group of people to which you probably belong-individuals who seek grants. In my years as Director of the New York library of The Foundation Center, * each and every day I encountered numbers of individuals look ing for grant money. Although I tried to be as supportive as possible, in the face of the particular problems shared by this group of library users, my own reaction was one of relative helplessness. Simply stated, most of the fund-raising guides, printed directories, and computer files purport edly created to serve the fund-raising public are of little or no use to individuals who seek funding on their own. These resources are directed *The Foundation Center is the independent, nonprofit organization established by foun dations to provide information for the grant-seeking public. vii viii I PREFACE toward the nonprofit, tax-exempt agency, which is the most common recipient of foundation, corporate, and government largess. They are not designed to respond to the special requirements of the individual grant seeker. In the applicant eligibility index, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance defines individuals as "homeowners, students, farmers, artists, scientists, consumers, small-business persons, minors, refugees, aliens, veterans, senior citizens, low-income persons, health and educational professionals, builders, contractors, developers, handicapped persons, the physically afflicted." In short, practically everyone qualifies.
An essential, galvanizing narrative about making a difference here and abroad—a road map to becoming the most effective global citizens we can be.

In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institu­tions working to address oppression and expand opportunity. A Path Appears is even more ambi­tious in scale: nothing less than a sweeping tap­estry of people who are making the world a better place and a guide to the ways that we can do the same—whether with a donation of $5 or $5 mil­lion, with our time, by capitalizing on our skills as individuals, or by using the resources of our businesses.

With scrupulous research and on-the-ground reporting, the authors assay the art and science of giving, identify successful local and global initia­tives, and share astonishing stories from the front lines of social progress. We see the compelling, in­spiring truth of how real people have changed the world, upending the idea that one person can’t make a difference.

We meet people like Dr. Gary Slutkin, who devel­oped his landmark Cure Violence program to combat inner-city conflicts in the United States by applying principles of epidemiology; Lester Strong, who left a career as a high-powered television anchor to run an organization bringing in older Americans to tu­tor students in public schools across the country; MIT development economist Esther Duflo, whose pioneering studies of aid effectiveness have revealed new truths about, among other things, the power of hope; and Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede, who are transforming Kenya’s most notorious slum by ex­panding educational opportunities for girls.

A Path Appears offers practical, results-driven advice on how best each of us can give and reveals the lasting benefits we gain in return. Kristof and WuDunn know better than most how many urgent challenges communities around the world face to­day. Here they offer a timely beacon of hope for our collective future.
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