Seminar 4 - Economics and Inequalities

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Week 1 + Week 2: Luis SAN VICENTE PORTES (Montclair State University, USA)


- “Change? What change?”

- “Oh yes, a whole lot of it.” He replied.

- “Really? But aren’t we living just a continuation of what started 10 years ago –smartphones? (60 years ago –information technology?) (100 years ago –World War I?) (200 years ago –Industrial Revolution?) (225 years ago –French Revolution?)  (600 years ago –printing press?) (2000 years ago –Christianity?)” After a pause she resumed “Could it just be that ‘change’ is speeding up? Or, maybe, we are just more informed; aware of change?” pondering, as if talking to herself.

- “And after all, how much of ‘the change’ do we see?” – she continued as an invitation to reflect.

The objective of this seminar is to stop, look, and listen; take it all in. In an interdisciplinary setting, through the lens of economics, (industrial, social, development, technological (digitization and artificial intelligence), institutional) we will analyze, discover, and organize the drivers of change; this, along with the social arrangements that foster, accommodate and resist such change. The materialization of such transformation happens at the collective level through the reaction and interplay of the state, society, and religion. At the individual level it is the question of agency what has to be brought to the fore. This is the key to the question of whether the more visible forms of inequality reflect the interplay of luck and degrees of agency in an ever-changing world.






Luis San Vicente Portes

(Montclair State University, USA)

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