Economic Capital and Creative Empowerment

  • Frederic Sautet The Catholic University of America


We often hear the basic question: “Why some countries are rich and others are poor”. This has been one of the major questions of political economy (and even long before) its more formal or scientific formulation in the late 18th century. Most prominently and especially England, at a time when Western Europe, was experiencing an economic upheaval, disruptions that would totally transform the lives of its inhabitants. Over the last two hundred years, economic development has been rather uneven1. Some countries have witnessed steady growth, year after year, while others stagnated. Some have become rich and then declined. After WWII, the world became divided into three areas: Western countries, the Eastern block, and the South. The first two fought a battle of ideas over a most fundamental question — that of the nature of human societies and the role of freedom. They also fought to impose their respective model over the South — the developing world — and to control its natural resources. After more than half a century of a destructive approach to development, things are now changing and we may have reasons to be optimistic for the next twenty years.