The members of the Wilson Initiative are academics (in the fields of economics and political science) who have witnessed with some concern how particular political parties, media organizations, and analysts are actively spreading misinformation to scare the citizens of Catalonia and keep them from freely exercising their right to decide the future of our country. Besides being anti-democratic, these campaigns are often lacking in common sense or suffer from serious errors of measurement, interpretation, or deduction regarding economic data or the current political or judicial status quo. We have also noticed with some uneasiness how some responses to these campaigns are similarly based on arguments or predictions that do not hold up to systematic scrutiny.
Faced with this situation, we decided to create the Wilson Initiative in order to share our knowledge and opinions—expressed either collectively or individually—on the different debates that are taking place on this topic. We hope that, through this process of reflection and deliberation, we can help the citizenry separate the wheat from the chaff, truth from falsehood, reality from exaggeration, and correct conclusions from misguided ones.
While all the members of the Initiative are united in the conviction that self-determination is an inalienable right of all citizens and peoples, our group is politically diverse. We have different opinions regarding how the economy works or on the criteria that should determine the norms of political and social interaction. Consequently, only the materials signed by the Initiative reflect the opinion of all its members. The documents individually signed do not necessarily represent the opinions of the other members of the Initiative.
In addition to our own contributions, we also hope to post content written by others that we find interesting and which contributes to our goal.
The Wilson Initiative does not accept aid, grants, or sponsorships from any institution, whether public or private.
The Wilson Initiative takes its name from and is inspired by American President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), who, in the wake of USA’s participation in World War One, focused his energy on transforming the international order so that it would be consistent with "reason and justice and the common interests of mankind" (11 February 1918, in a speech to the US Congress). Loyal to these fundamental principles, Wilson proclaimed that
National aspirations must be respected; peoples may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. "Self-determination" is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of actions which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril.
Although the European Allies and the American Senate frustrated Wilson’s project to some extent, the principle of self-determination eventually made its way into the Charter of the United Nations and it has been upheld on several occasions by the International Court of Justice. We believe that contributing to its defense and to its peaceful and rational expression is an absolutely essential task at this moment in time.
Gerard Padró i Miquel
Xavier Sala i Martin
Pol Antràs (Ph.D., MIT) Professor at Harvard University
Carles Boix (Ph.D., Harvard) Professor at Princeton University
Jordi Galí (Ph.D., MIT) Senior Researcher at the Center for Research in International Economics (CREI)
Gerard Padró i Miquel (Ph.D., MIT) Professor at the London School of Economics
Xavier Sala i Martín (Ph.D., Harvard) Professor at Columbia University
Jaume Ventura (Ph.D., Harvard), Senior Researcher at the Center for Research in International Economics (CREI)