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Unpacking the Anti-Globalization Backlash: Individual Attitudes and Party Strategies

Honeker, Jose Alejandro (2023) Unpacking the Anti-Globalization Backlash: Individual Attitudes and Party Strategies. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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What explains the rise of anti-globalization politics in advanced economies? During the last decade, the pro-globalization consensus of the past 40 years characterized by the freer flow of goods, services, and capital across borders, has been put under increasing strain. In parallel to this development, populist right parties (PRPs) and factions have enjoyed increasing electoral success in Europe and the United States under the banner of the defense of the nation-state. In this dissertation, I argue that the anti-globalization backlash of the past decade owes much of its traction to the strategies of political elites, specifically, populist radical right parties. I present a theory of issue bundling on globalization that argues that most PRPs have adopted an anti-globalization bundle combining economically protectionist stances with their owned issue of immigration restrictionism in order to expand their electoral appeal, particularly, to the losers of globalization and voters higher in xenophobic sentiment. I test this theory with a combination of survey experiments in the United States and Germany and elite surveys among European PRP elites. I then explain the variation in PRPs' globalization positioning and their effect on mainstream parties' positions via a quantitative text analysis of official party tweets. The findings indicate that PRPs can shape voters' views on globalization and expand their electorate by adopting an anti-immigration and protectionist issue bundle. Moreover, PRPs appear more likely to embrace protectionism when they are growing electorally in opposition, whereas government participation moderates their protectionist stances. Finally, rather than accommodate the protectionism of successful PRPs, mainstream parties maintain their overall pro-globalization position, while de-emphasizing globalization issues in their campaign messages. The findings from this dissertation point towards the pivotal role parties and elites play in the contemporary rise of anti-globalization sentiment.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Honeker, Jose Alejandroa.honeker@pitt.edujah3240000-0003-1642-496X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairSpoon, Jae-Jaespoonj@pitt.eduspoonj
Committee CoChairFinkel, Stevenfinkel@pitt.edufinkel
Committee MemberWest, Emily Aeawest@pitt.edueawest
Committee MemberOwen, Ericaeop3@pitt.edueop3
Date: 6 September 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 June 2023
Approval Date: 6 September 2023
Submission Date: 17 July 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 196
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: globalization; globalization backlash; free trade; populism; populist right; radical right; political parties; trade attitudes; vote choice
Additional Information:
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2023 16:17
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 16:17


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