Aaron Horvath is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society with a PhD in Sociology from Stanford University. Drawing insights from economic and organizational sociology, he studies how civic organizations—everything from soup kitchens to philanthropic foundations—construct the meaning of public participation and structure the possibilities for a democratic society. Combining historical, qualitative, and quantitative methods, he investigates situations where the public character of organizational practices is in dispute.
Along these lines Aaron has published on topics including:
- How, in the early 1900s, philanthropists and academic elites remade American government in the image of the large industrial enterprise and, in doing so, promoted an alternative (and particularly anemic) conception of democratic citizenship
- The transformation of accountability in the US nonprofit sector since the early 2000s and the creative politics of resistance to quantitative discipline
- How community organizations of all sorts have mobilized in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, repurposing themselves as vital nodes in the country’s patchwork public health information infrastructure
Aaron’s work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). His research has received awards from the American Sociological Association and has been covered in outlets including The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired. For more on Aaron’s work and links to his publications, see aaronhorvath.org.
Journal Articles & Book Chapters
Horvath, Aaron and Walter W. Powell. 2020. “Seeing Like a Philanthropist: From the Business of Benevolence to the Benevolence of Business.” Forthcoming in The Nonprofit Sector : A Research Handbook, 3rd Edition, edited by Walter W. Powell and Patricia Bromley. Stanford: Stanford University Press.(PDF)