Cool Water Effect

This project examines the deep causes of this civilizational turn, analyzing the role of geography, genes, disease, agriculture, language, religion, statehood, colonialism, law traditions and other institutional factors, such as emerging democracy. The evidence shows that, among multiple possible paths towards human emancipation today, there is only one narrow route of significance. The very narrowness of this route explains why it took civilization so long to reach towards human emancipation. 

The narrow route was entered when urban markets began to flourish under the Cool Water-condition. Urbanization under the Cool Water-condition—and only under this condition—encouraged a transition in people's lifetime investment from reproduction to learning. This transition has been further supported as states began to provide public schools and to promote universal education. With rising mass-level education, an enlightenment process set in that mobilized the populations’ cognitive potentials and their aspirations for emancipatory rights. In the era of accelerating globalization, human empowerment escapes with increasing speed its gender bias as well as its initial limitation to Cool Water-areas. After outlining these insights, this project also discusses policy implications for development aid. 


Project Management

Prof. Dr. Christian Welzel
Universitätsallee 1, C4.008b
21335 Lüneburg
Fon +49.4131.677-2453