1st Edition

Brazilian Elites and their Philanthropy
Wealth at the Service of Development

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 5, 2021
ISBN 9780367442170
November 5, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book explores the philanthropy of Brazilian elites during a key period in recent Brazilian history, from Workers Party president Lula’s last term in office through to the election of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

Against this backdrop of political upheaval, the book asks what philanthropy can reveal about the role of corporate and wealth elites in upholding the structures of socioeconomic inequality that continue to define Brazilian society. The book argues that around the world the private sector’s growing engagement in international development has led to the emergence of a global philanthropic project centred on practices of ‘philanthrocapitalism’ and 'social finance', which ultimately seeks to legitimise global capitalism and the elite interests it serves. Drawing on an in-depth and wide-ranging ethnographic study among philanthropists and their advisors in over 30 Brazilian foundations and intermediary organisations, the book combines a structural critique of the capitalist ideologies underlying philanthropic practice with a robust exploration into the ways in which wealthy Brazilians appropriate philanthropy directly to legitimise elite reproduction and the accumulation of wealth.

Researchers across Latin American studies, development studies and the anthropology of development will find this book a timely contribution to the under-researched areas of elite studies and the study of philanthropy.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations


Preface and Acknowledgements

Introduction: The Many Stories of Brazilian Philanthropy

Chapter 1: The Brazilian Philanthropy Sector: Locating an Elite Practice

Chapter 2: Ways of Giving and Ways of Being Wealthy: Philanthropy and Elite Identity

Chapter 3: "Social Responsibility is in our DNA": Historical Narratives in a Brazilian Family Business

Chapter 4: Investimento Social Privado and Philanthrocapitalism: The Contours of Brazilian Philanthropy

Chapter 5: Incorporating the Entrepreneurial Poor: The Strategies of Brazilian Philanthropy

Chapter 6: Transforming Philanthropists and their Practice: The Work of Intermediaries

Chapter 7: Ten Years On and a Path Divided: Impact Investing, Grantmaking and the Future of Philanthropy

Conclusion: Philanthropy, Development and the Reproduction of the Wealth Elite








View More



Jessica Sklair is a Research Fellow at the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies, Newnham College, University of Cambridge, UK.