This paper deals with «ethical finance» in advanced societies. The first part consists of some theoretical considerations focussed on the relationship between finance and the civil sphere in European societies. Here we argue that the most innovative phenomena in this domain are represented by an increasing number of organizations operating inside the financial system, while emerging from the sphere of civil society. Such «ethical investors» may introduce momentous redefinitions of empirical and theoretical borders between «public», «private», and «third sector» spheres of society. The second part presents the results of a recent case study conducted on the «Ethical Bank» (EB) active in Italy since 1999. EB is analyzed with regard to why and how it was born, what its aims are, how it organizes, and above all what culture it tends to express. The main characteristics of EB are. 1) in a structural perspective: a peculiar network organization involving actors bearing diverse interests and identities; the creation of new «civil markets». 2) In a cultural perspective, a «new spirit of money», that we call «plan2 oriented money». We argue that EB will fully develop its potential for socio-cultural change insofar as it articulates a «civil meaning of money» comprising relationality and responsibility.

Building civil society through finance: the Ethical Bank in Italy

Andrea Maria Maccarini
2009

Abstract

This paper deals with «ethical finance» in advanced societies. The first part consists of some theoretical considerations focussed on the relationship between finance and the civil sphere in European societies. Here we argue that the most innovative phenomena in this domain are represented by an increasing number of organizations operating inside the financial system, while emerging from the sphere of civil society. Such «ethical investors» may introduce momentous redefinitions of empirical and theoretical borders between «public», «private», and «third sector» spheres of society. The second part presents the results of a recent case study conducted on the «Ethical Bank» (EB) active in Italy since 1999. EB is analyzed with regard to why and how it was born, what its aims are, how it organizes, and above all what culture it tends to express. The main characteristics of EB are. 1) in a structural perspective: a peculiar network organization involving actors bearing diverse interests and identities; the creation of new «civil markets». 2) In a cultural perspective, a «new spirit of money», that we call «plan2 oriented money». We argue that EB will fully develop its potential for socio-cultural change insofar as it articulates a «civil meaning of money» comprising relationality and responsibility.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3277740
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