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Contribution to Book
Transnational Asymmetries: U.S. philanthropic foundations and the German School of Politics in the 1920s and 1930s.
German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective. Perceptions, Exchanges and Transfers since the Early Twentieth Century (2016)
  • Peter C. Weber, Murray State University
Abstract
Peter Weber analyzes the relationship between the German School of Politics and US philanthropic foundations. The intellectuals close to the School of Politics were positioned at the critical intersection between private initiative and public action and aimed to influence the development of a German democratic society with the support of both German and American philanthropic institutions. This work points to the asymmetric connections between American ideals of democratic processes and the realities of the German political system, and hence raises general questions about the role of transnational philanthropy in support of democracy.
Publication Date
2016
Editor
G. Witkowski & A. Bauerkämper
Publisher
Springer International
ISBN
978-3-319-40837-8
Publisher Statement
This volume examines philanthropic practices against the backdrop of the continuities, disruptions and changes in twentieth century German socio-political relations. It presents a differentiated understanding of the relationship between philanthropy and civil society that traces this connection from Germany’s first democracy, the Weimar Republic, through the Nazi dictatorship and Soviet-style rule in Communist East Germany to the stable democracy of the Federal Republic of Germany. While concentrating on Germany, this volume places German philanthropy in a triangular relationship with the United States and the developing world, primarily through Africa. In particular, the contributions to the book demonstrate that despite many transatlantic exchanges between German and American philanthropic organizations, these relationships should not be reduced to bilateral exchanges but rather seen in the context of a globalizing world.  More generally, this transnational study is a reminder that philanthropic activities need to be placed into their specific historical contexts. Such an analytical framework allows for more dynamic understanding of the meaning of philanthropy in society, illustrating both enduring and changing practices.
Citation Information
Weber, P. C. (2016). Transnational Asymmetries: U.S. philanthropic foundations and the German School of Politics in the 1920s and 1930s. In G. Witkowski & A. Bauerkämper (eds.), German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective. Perceptions, Exchanges and Transfers since the Early Twentieth Century (pp. 75-93). Switzerland: Springer International.