Philanthropic Practices of the UK and Russian Superrich

I am comparing super-rich Brits and Russians engaged in large-scale projects in civil society, charity and/or arts philanthropy. My aim is to identify the similarities and differences between one of the newest and one of the oldest capitalist societies. I see philanthropy as a vehicle to regulate intra-elite power relations and elite cohesion as well as to legitimise social inequality.

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, 2015-2017, University College London

I draw upon the family as a research entity to explore gender relations and the role elite women have in recreating class boundaries. For the Russian side I have focused on the Forbes-200. I have examined all the families on the list and have conducted interviews with 18 of its members. For the UK side, where many such in-depth interviews already exist, I have built up a database using the names in the Sunday Times Rich List, to be checked against other databases such as Who’s Who and Burke’s Peerage and, most importantly, a database holding information on the 350,000 UK charities registered with the Charities Commission.




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Elisabeth Schimpfoessl

About Elisabeth Schimpfössl

My research focuses on elites, philanthropy and social inequality as well as questions around post-Socialist media and self-censorship. I did my PhD at the University of Manchester and taught at Liverpool University, Brunel and UCL before taking up my current post as Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. I live in London.