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Survey Experiments in International Political Economy: What We (Don't) Know About the Backlash Against Globalization

Authors
  • Naoi, Megumi
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
May 11, 2020
Volume
23
Pages
333–356
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-050317-063806
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

This article reviews the cumulation of evidence from survey experiments in the field of international political economy (IPE) and discusses their strengths and weaknesses in explaining the backlash against globalization. I first review the advancements made by the most commonly used survey experiment design in IPE, namely the Globalization-as-Treatment design, in which scholars randomly assign information about different features of globalization and solicit respondents’ attitudes toward protectionism. Then I discuss three issues with this design in addressing key puzzles in the emergence of globalization backlash: (a) using a coarse informational treatment that stacks the deck against the economic self-interest hypothesis; (b) overattributing globalization as a source of hardship; and (c) neglecting heterogeneous room-to-maneuver beliefs across and within countries. The article suggests alternative designs and strategies to study these questions. Evidence from survey experiments suggests that much of the globalization backlash we witness today is deeply rooted in domestic politics.

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