Essays on Globalization and Labor Power in Transition and its Political Consequences

One of the most challenging political science questions of our time is how a world could come to exist in which phenomena of disintegration occur, in which anti-democratic processes are on the rise, and in which there is a growing skepticism toward representations of interests and politics in general. In this dissertation, I will shed light on three different aspects in this context, which are, however, all phenomena of a changing world and are closely interconnected. These phenomena are the (dwindling) power of workers and unions, their influence on inequality and the welfare state, and the greater space that right-wing populists are taking in politics. The key findings here are threefold: First, union strength should not and cannot be measured purely in terms of union density, and developing countries possess great potential in this regard. Second, strong unions enable more foreign trade liberalization, with different dimensions of strength varying by income level. And third, existential anxieties increase the likelihood of voting for anti-globalization, right-wing populist parties. Especially if attitudes toward globalization are moderate.


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