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August 2004 Values and Interests in Attitudes toward Trade and Globalization: The Continuing Compromise of Embedded Liberalism

By Robert Wolfe and Matthew Mendelsohn


We are grateful to Andrew Parkin with whom we collaborated on the original survey design, to Rod Macdonald and Klaus Stegemann for many suggestions, and to the reviewers for the Journal for constructive comments. Marnie Wallace, Patrick Kennedy, Michael Heal and Alex van Many analyses of public opinion about global integration, and by implication global governance, are based on the material factors or interests driving individual and collective political preferences. In contrast, we show that values and ideology offer a better explanation of attitudes toward trade liberalization than do economic interests, and that the material self-interest factors that do influence opinion about trade are not relevant for opinion about globalization. We use regression analysis of original Canadian public opinion data to show that individuals of whatever skill or educational level who trust multinational corporations and the market, who like the United States, who support more immigration, who oppose a larger welfare state, and who support Canada taking a more active role in the world are more likely to support globalization. We conclude that Canadians ’ continued support of free trade agreements but wariness about globalization indicates that the compromise of embedded liberalism, a compelling metapho

Year: 2011
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