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ECPR Futures Lab 2020

Globalisation, Socio-Economic Divides, and the Dilemma of Established Political Parties

Presenter
Evelyne Hübscher
Central European University
Authors
Evelyne Hübscher
Central European University

Abstract
This contribution analyzes how the diverging policy preferences of winners and losers of globalization translate into political choices, a step that represents an essential, but understudied link between globalization and domestic politics. Unlike predicted by globalization theories, the analysis finds that losers and winners of globalization do not differ significantly in their political support for established left and right parties. This is because globalization losers not only prefer more redistribution to cushion the effects of globalization, but also oppose more immigration for economic and cultural reasons. These demands are inconsistent with the platforms of established parties that generally embrace greater redistribution and fewer restrictions on immigration, or vice versa. The effects of voters’ diametrically different preferences balance each other, which poses a dilemma for traditional parties when trying to appeal to losers of globalization. The empirical analysis is based on micro-level data covering 13 open economies with consolidated party systems.
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