IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

"Ideas" in Development from George Soros: Power and Influence through Philanthropy?


  • Saab, Samer


This paper mainly examines the economic ideas and models brought forward by the always controversial global financier George Soros. The aim is to first explore whether in fact Soros has developed over time a well- articulated model for development based on a coherent system of beliefs and (economic, social, political, and philosophical) ideas, and second examine the notion that the world's wealthiest (including Soros) wield enough power and influence (through philanthropy and other means) to shape the economic landscape of countries. The latter point poses a more problematic question: if indeed the world's wealthiest wield unlimited powers in shaping the global development landscape, it could then be assumed that the quality of their "ideas" does not matter much. How do the resources they control ultimately facilitate the transformation of their beliefs and practices into valid economic "ideas"? Do wealth, power and influence validate ideas? The flip side to this coin is that time (hopefully) eventually weeds out the bad ideas, and only the good ones prevail and propagate in the world, and that the Soros's of the world do not matter much in the long run. A lot has been said and written about Soros's controversial financial dealings but very few attempted to systematically explore his system of ideas and evalua te their cohesiveness. He is too often dismissed as a philosophe manqué. The paper will briefly review the written works of Soros and his publicly stated positions on some of the more significant issues in development and economics today, and at times offer a light critique or praise) where due. A parallel with Keynes on some of the issues is also drawn. The paper will also offer insight on the question of whether philanthropy is conducive to the germination (and, most importantly, diffusion) of ideas.

Suggested Citation

  • Saab, Samer, 2005. ""Ideas" in Development from George Soros: Power and Influence through Philanthropy?," MPRA Paper 1878, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1878

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. M. Keynes, 1937. "The General Theory of Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 209-223.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    economic development; philanthropy; Soros;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1878. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.