Department of Political Science

Old wine in new bottles? Reassessing the effects of globalisation on political preferences in Western Europe

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DOI

In both public and scholarly debates, globalisation has recently been accredited with a massive impact on the political preferences and electoral behaviour of Western citizens. Some go as far as to declare a new cleavage between winners and losers of globalisation, driven, for example, by individuals’ exposure to international competition and their degree of national as opposed to cosmopolitan identification. Extant tests of this argument have, however, relied on class and education as proxies for these processes. In contrast, this study provides a direct test of the influence of the globalisation processes on attitudes to economic distribution, the European Union and immigration as well as on vote choice across nine West European countries. The results show that variables tapping the core aspects of globalisation have relatively little impact on attitudes and vote choice; are largely unable to account for the effects of class and education; and do not seem to lead to the establishment of new divisions between winners and losers within or across classes. Rather, the winners and losers of globalisation seem to be the traditional winners and losers with respect to material positions and political influence in modern Western societies – that is, those placed higher as opposed to lower in the class and education hierarchies. In this way, the proposed cleavage between winners and losers of globalisation may seem to be rather much like old wine in new bottles.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
Volume58
Issue4
Pages (from-to)1213-1233
Number of pages21
ISSN0304-4130
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

    Research areas

  • class, cleavage, education, globalisation, voting

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