1st Edition

The Gates Foundation's Rise to Power Private Authority in Global Politics

By Adam Moe Fejerskov Copyright 2018
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has established itself as one of the most powerful private forces in global politics, shaping the trajectories of international policy-making. Driven by fierce confidence and immense expectations about its ability to change the world through its normative and material power, the foundation advances an agenda of social and economic change through technological innovation. And it does so while forming part of a movement that refocuses efforts towards private influence on, and delivery of, societal progress.

    The Gates Foundation’s Rise to Power is an urgent exploration of one of the world’s most influential but also notoriously sealed organizations. As the first book to take us inside the walls of the foundation, it tells a story of dramatic organizational change, of diverging interests and influences, and of choices with consequences beyond the expected. Based on extensive fieldwork inside and around the foundation, the book explores how the foundation has established itself as a major political power, how it exercises this power, but also how it has been deeply shaped by the strong norms, ideas, organizations, and expectations from the field of global development. The book will be of interest to scholars and students of global development, international relations, philanthropy and organizational theory.

    1. Introduction  2. Organizational Change and New Actors in Global Politics  3. Rising Powers, American Capitalism and Private Foundations  4. Enter Seattle  5. The Power of Ideas  6. The Global South as a Laboratory of Experimentation  7. From Seattle to the Fields of India  8. Chameleon Politics  9. Conclusion: The Gates Foundation’s Rise to Power


    Adam Moe Fejerskov is Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). He holds a PhD in international studies from Roskilde University. His research lies at the intersection of global development and international relations, with a focus on norm dynamics, rising state and non-state powers, as well as organizational and sociological theory.

    "This is by far the best and most balanced account of the Gates Foundation and its role in the world. A must-read for anyone with an interest in politics, economics, non-profit studies and international relations." Michael Edwards, Editor of Transformation

    "Fejerskov's impressive study is the first to fully capture the complex ideas, hybrid identities and diverse practices of the Gates Foundation. Clearly written and carefully researched, this highly original account deserves to be read by everyone with an interest in finding out more about this important and controversial new player in global development." David Lewis, Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

    "Offering powerful new insights into organizational life and the life of organizations, this original book artfully illuminates the internal and external forces that explain why "organizations rarely stand still". With it, Fejerskov makes a significant contribution to sociological theory." Rachel Schurman, Professor, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, USA

    "Fejerskov provides critical insights into the internal complexities and changes of the Gates Foundation. He is an essential commentator on philanthrocapitalism, the changing international development landscape, and the sociology of institutions." Emma Mawdsley, Reader, University of Cambridge, UK

    "The first book to provide ethnographic examination of the inner workings of the Gates Foundation, this is a provocative, important and clear-eyed study of philanthropic power today." Linsey Mcgoey, Reader, University of Essex, UK and author of No such thing as a free gift