Comparing Swedish Foundations: A Carefully Negotiated Space of Existence.

Am Behav Sci 2018 Nov 20;62(13):1889-1918. Epub 2018 May 20.

Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.

Foundations and philanthropy currently play a very limited role in the Swedish welfare. The same is true in fields like Culture and Recreation or International Activities. Only in the case of funding of research do Swedish foundations exhibit a role possible to define in terms of substitution rather than weak complementarity in relation to government. Despite marginal positions for philanthropy, Sweden displays a wealthy as well as growing foundation population, which seems like a paradox, at least in comparison to the situation in Germany and the United States where foundations traditionally play a more visible and pronounced role in society. A striking difference between the Swedish foundations and their U.S. or German counterparts is their weak bonds to religious communities or causes. Instead, we can identify in our new data set a growing segment of the Swedish foundation world that is affiliated with other parts of civil society. The same is true for the category of independent foundations, which points toward the U.S. model. We find in the article some limited support for a "philanthropic turn" in Sweden, but overall the foundation world is still deeply embedded in the social contract and strong Social-Democratic regime of the 20th century. In comparison to neighboring Scandinavian or Nordic countries, both similarities and differences are identified where, for example, the Norwegian case display a much larger segment of operating foundations, closely affiliated with government, while in Denmark, on the other hand, the corporate-owning foundation seems to be a much more important form than in Sweden.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002764218773439DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6193205PMC
November 2018
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