Volume 6

Opening Remarks: How Property Rights Even Stop Wars

Hernando de Soto

From the rural farmer in Latin America who is struggling to protect his family and his possessions to the street vendor in Tunisia whose wares are confiscated, the desire for property and property rights is universal. While many scholars take a theoretical approach to property rights, discussing and proposing what should be, I have devoted my career to finding out what is and use that knowledge to help bring peace, security, and stability. My research has taken me around the world, consulting with governments in an effort to bring stability. Time after time, I have discovered that property—in particular the legal protection of property—has been the key to unlocking the value of people’s labor and creating economic, political, and social stability.

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