Globalization and Populism: Politics in the Developed Countries in an Open Economy

  • 6 Feb 2018

    12:30-13:30, Clay Room, Nuffield College

  • Political Science Seminars   Add to Calendar
Speaker: Professor Helen V. Milner

B.C., Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University

This event is part of the Political Science Seminar Series.

Globalization has grown much since 1980s. What political trends have been associated with this growth? This paper presents the beginning of a project on the political consequences of globalization.  Economic globalization, according to some economic theories, might have adverse consequences for labor, especially less skilled labor, in the rich democracies. If these voters are the median, then we might expect parties to respond to this by turning against globalization and the openness to flows of goods, services, people and capital that it brings. Have parties turned against economic openness? And have parties, especially extreme right-wing ones, that oppose openness advanced in terms of their electoral strength as a result? Furthermore, have these pressures from globalization been mitigated by social welfare policies or by strong left-labor coalitions, as earlier research claimed? First, updating and extending the research of Garrett 1998, I ask whether globalization has led to less room to maneuver in terms of welfare state policies. Second, updating and extending the research of Burgoon 2009, I ask whether political parties in the advanced industrial countries have adopted more anti-internationalist platforms as globalization has advanced.  Finally, I examine whether parties, especially extremist ones, have gained vote share as globalization has proceeded. There is some preliminary evidence that globalization is associated with more constraints on welfare states and with a political turn to anti-internationalism but less so with extremist party support. 

The Political Science Seminar Series is convened by Desmond King and Ben Ansell. For more information on this or any of the seminars in the series, please contact