The VoxEU.org Board of Editors welcomes the newest member of the Consortium – Sociedad Abierta. The Spanish-language site was set up by Editor-in-Chief Juanjo Dolado with some help from Vox, LaVoce and Telos; it is hosted by FEDEA (Fundacion de Estudios de Economia Aplicada), a private research centre sponsored by the Banco de Espana and private financial institutions in Spain.
The goal of Sociedad Abierta is to promote analysis and commentary by globally renowned economic researchers on the main problems facing modern society. The site is an independent forum without any political association. It welcomes all opinions based on objective facts and sound economic reasoning. The Board consists of Michele Boldrin, José Ignacio Conde-Ruiz, José García-Montalvo, and Pablo Vázquez in addition to Juanjo Dolado.
The expansion of the Consortium to include a Spanish language site is a major step. Spanish is spoken by more than 300 million people in dozens of nations. Many of the issues addressed on Sociedad Abierta are mainly of concern to Spain’s policy world, but given the world’s increasing interdependence, the site will post selected contributions from the Consortium. A recent example is the column by Gilles Saint-Paul on the logic of Employment Protection Legislation – an issue that finds resonance in the domestic debates of many European nations.
Given the eminence of Spanish economists in the analysis of international issues, and the similarity of domestic economic problems across nations, we are sure that Sociedad Abierta columns will be translated into other languages and posted on the various sites in the Consortium.
Enlargement of the Consortium will assure that the best contributions are translated into an expanding array of languages thus reaching further into the policy making world. Despite English’s ascendancy on the web, only a narrow slice of professional economists are completely at ease with English. More analysis will be read and understood if it is presented in a wide range of languages. In this way, good research-based policy commentary and analysis should reach deeper into the global policy-making machinery than, for example, an FT Personal View. Moreover, unlike many opinion-pieces in the print media, columns posted on the Consortium are freely downloadable (no subscription is required).
A Dutch and a German site are scheduled to be launched later this year and the Consortium has opened discussions on a Swedish partner, a Japanese partner and most recently a South African partner.
The Consortium is open to suggestions for cooperation with other existing or proposed sites that share our aim of raising the level of the policy debate by making it easier for researchers to draw out the policy implications of their work in a setting that is more informal than articles, but less constrained than newspaper columns.