World Economic Forum

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Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with WEF founder Klaus Schwab during a session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is an international organization that convenes an annual winter conference, traditionally in Davos, Switzerland. Prominent business leaders, international political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists attend the meetings. It was founded on 24 January 1971 by Klaus Schwab.

The organization also convenes some six to eight regional meetings each year in locations across Africa, East Asia and Latin America, and holds two further annual meetings in China, India and the United Arab Emirates. It also produces a series of reports and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives.


Previously, there were large-scale protests against the meetings, one part of the anti-globalization movement. These have largely died down, possibly related to leftist activists now viewing globalization more positively and related to politically correct causes such as the mass immigration.

Faculty member Steven Strauss at the Harvard Kennedy School, have pointed out that many of the WEF's strategic partners (who in return for financing the annual meeting have the ability to set the intellectual agenda for the meeting) have been convicted of serious criminal, civil, or human rights violations, raising significant questions about WEF's legitimacy as a neutral convener on certain topics.

"Davos Man"

"Davos Man" is a neologism referring to the global elite of wealthy (predominantly) men, whose members view themselves as completely "international". According to political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, who is credited with inventing the phrase "Davos Man", they are people who "have little need for national loyalty, view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the élite's global operations". In his 2004 article "Dead Souls: The Denationalization of the American Elite", Huntington argues that this international perspective is a minority elitist position not shared by the nationalist majority of the people. An 2012 study, winner of the outstanding study award from the Israel Political Science Association, found that

"the more people consider themselves to adhere to the values of globalization, consumerism, and individualism, and the more they regard themselves as “citizens of the world” exposed to globalization, the less likely they are to contribute to public goods and the more likely they are to seek to be “free riders” on the contributions of others. [...] As expected, a similar correlation was found between the level of globalization of the country and the participants’ contributions."[1][2]

See also

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