USP Electronic Research Repository

African gifting: pluralising the concept of philanthropy

Fowler, Alan and Mati, Jacob M. (2019) African gifting: pluralising the concept of philanthropy. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, NA . pp. 1-14. ISSN 0957-8765

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 December 2029.

Download (660kB)


This article adds to conceptualisations of philanthropy. Applying an ontological approach within an evolutionary perspective, it advances an analogous African narrative of pro-social transactions of gift-giving, or gifting, associated with Marcel Mauss. Originating on the continent, this relational behaviour is subject to indeterminate complex processes which co-determine any society’s institutional design. Analysing gifting’s sociopolitical influence on the continent pays attention to the (non-)agonistic as well as the ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ features of gifting across pre- to post-colonial eras, examining their role in establishing patrimonial systems of governance. When gifting is set against (institutionalised) philanthropy’s dominant discourse, issues for its critique are identified. Suggestions for further inquiry and implications for improving development on the continent are provided.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HS Societies secret benevolent etc
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jacob Mati
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 00:31
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2019 00:31

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...