Working Paper No. 1304

Globalization and Populism in Europe

Published: November 19, 2019Pages: 27Keywords: Globalization; Populism; TradeJEL-codes: P16

Globalization and Populism in Europe Andreas Bergh and Anders Gustafsson


Recent micro-level studies have suggested that globalization – in particular, economic globalization – breeds political polarization and populism. This study examines if those results generalize by examining the country-level association between vote shares for European populist parties and economic globalization.

Using data on vote share for 267 right-wing and left-wing populist parties in 33 European countries 1980–2016, and globalization data from the KOF-institute, we find no evidence of a positive association between economic globalization and populism. In many cases, the partial correlation is significantly negative. EU-membership is associated with 5 to 10 percentage units larger vote shares for right-wing populism in both random and fixed effects models.

Andreas Bergh

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Mob: 070 779 0734
andreas.bergh@ifn.se

Anders Gustafsson

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Mob: +46 735 109 755
anders.gustafsson@ifn.se

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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