The Paradox of Globalization: How Liberal Policies Have Fostered Regression through the Rise of Populism in the 21st Century
Moreno, Blanca Yazmin
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This monograph will explore the relationship between globalization and populism. Specifically, what variables in relation to globalization induce populism in highly industrialized countries? I hypothesize that factors such as economic stagnation, migration, and commitments to inter governmental organizations in the presence of globalization have induced populism in highly industrialized countries. Given the polemical nature of globalization and populism, the paper will start by providing a literature review on the concepts of globalization and populism. Subsequently, the paper will explore and briefly discuss the hypothesized factors that under globalization facilitate populism. Lastly, the paper will provide an assessment of the long term viability of populist leaders and parties in highly industrialized countries. To anticipate my conclusions, I would argue that there is indeed an indirect relation between globalization and the simultaneous emergence of populist movements in several highly industrialized countries. Economic stagnation and migration are not peculiar to any specific country, however in countries where populist movements and leaders have gained strength, public pc !icy-or the absence of public policy- being implemented by traditional political parties to manage the negative externalities of globalization have played a role in mobilizing populism. Furthermore, in the case of Europe, commitments to an inter-governmental organization-the European Union-have further bolstered populism in parts of the continent. Specifically, the relationship between globalization and populism is an indirect one that can be attributed to the disillusionment with political systems that have lost legitimacy by failing to ameliorate crises through effective policies. What is making people in highly industrialized countries susceptible to populism is that populist leaders through their rhetoric are addressing the crises enveloping these countries and claiming to have alternatives to the policies that current political leaders have embraced that are not showing results. Populist leaders are manipulating citizens' disillusionment as well as the uncertainty globalization yields to gain power and discredit the political establishment. Nevertheless, the solutions populist leaders are offering are similarly vague and counterproductive to democracy in the long-run. Historically, populist leaders and parties have never produced positive long-term viability in highly industrialized countries. In fact, 20th century Europe has demonstrated the danger of arousing disenchantment from citizens that populist leaders have exploited during time of crises. The emergence of populism in highly industrialized countries should serve as a wake up call to the political establishment across the spectrum of the growing disconnection between representatives and citizens and the need to acknowledge and mitigate the negative externalities globalization has brought forth. Contrary to current populist rhetoric, globalization -if well managed- can produce benefits for all and enhance civilization. The lessons one learns from the 20th century is that regression is never a positive solution-no matter how appealing and comforting it can seem.