Democratic Capitalism at a Crossroads

  • 21 Nov 2017

    17:00-18:00, Clay Room, Nuffield College

  • Political Science Seminars   Add to Calendar
Speaker: Carles Boix

Robert Garrett Professor of Politics and Public Affairs in the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and IPErG at Universitat de Barcelona.

This event is part of the Political Science Seminar Series.

The paper includes the “Introduction” and “Dire Straits” (first and fourth chapters) of the book manuscript “Democratic Capitalism at a Crossroads?”. The introductory chapter summarizes the book’s exploration of the relationship between industrial capitalism (as it has evolved through three main periods: the first industrial revolution centered in Manchester; the Detroit model of capitalism: and Silicon Valley capitalism) and democracy. “Dire Straits” examines how, by disrupting the employment and wage patterns that prevailed during the twentieth century, Silicon Valley capitalism has jeopardized the liberal postwar consensus. A generalized pattern of attachment to parties and trade unions and of deference toward political elites during the postwar period gave way to a growing sense of mistrust and political alienation – mostly among the American and European working class. Political mistrust eventually spilled over into actual political behavior. Electoral participation in Europe plummeted after 1980. By the early 2010s, almost one out of every three Europeans – most of them clustered within low-income strata and young cohorts – abstained in national elections. In due time, new “populist” parties reconfigured the electoral space, attracting a growing number of abstainers and breaking the structure and dynamics of political competition in place since the end of World War Two.

The Political Science Seminar Series is convened by Geoff Evans, Elias Dinas and Sergi Pardos Prado. For more information on this or any of the seminars in the series, please contact