New Research Shows that Tolerant, Secular, Cosmopolitan Cultures are More Successful Economically

There has been a "chicken and egg debate" in the political science community for years about whether tolerance enhances a nation's economic success, or economic growth leads to more openness. Which comes first and influences the other?

According to new research conducted at the University of Bristol [UK] and the University of Tennessee, "cosmopolitanism," tolerance and secularism are the building blocks of economic prosperity, but, on the other hand, economic prosperity doesn't necessarily lead to a more tolerant society. In this context, "cosmopolitanism" refers to a society that embraces racial, ethnic and religious diversity as a strength. Some white nationalists in the United States call it a "globalist" perspective. In any case, nations that welcome diversity seem to be the most successful.

Newsweek: ..."Survey data involving close to half a million people and 109 countries suggests cultural change took place and was swiftly followed by economic prosperity."
"Specifically, a two-pronged attack of "secular-rationality" and "cosmopolitanism" was found to predict future growth in GDP per capita as well as increases in democratization and enrollment in secondary education...
American Association for the Advancement of Science: "Secular cultures which are tolerant of minority groups and respectful of individuals' rights tend to have more wealth, education and democracy ...,

The researchers are aware that their study has implications related to the current wave of nationalism and xenophobia that afflicts various nations including the United States. However, Damian Ruck who authored the study is still optimistic about the future.

Newsweek: "It is a concern that the world has taken a distinctly uncosmopolitan turn, given the recent success of nationalist politics around the world," said Ruck. "However, the march towards greater cosmopolitanism has been going on for decades—maybe centuries."
"Therefore, given that the current nationalist turn is very recent, I am not yet convinced we are witnessing a permanent reversal in the long-term trend towards cosmopolitanism," he added."

Instead, he hopes that his research demonstrates the importance of a cosmopolitan perspective in national debates of long-term economic development.

#economics #news #research

By: Don Lam & Curated Content


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