Date: Jun 6 | Time: 10:30am to 12:00pm | Location: SWING 410
Chair/Président/Présidente : Russell Williams (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Russell Williams (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Populism as a Response to Globalization in Anglo-Saxon States: Comparing Populist Approaches to Trade and Migration: Robert Finbow (Dalhousie University) Abstract: While populism is perceived as transforming the political spectrum in many states, there are often assumptions of similarities across borders. This research will examine populism in several Anglo-Saxon states to assess similarities and differences in emphasis on core issues relating to trade and international migration. While there seem to be similar rhetoric and approaches on some issues (mass migration, burka bans etc.) there are marked differences on other issues. For instance, Canadian populists remain resolutely pro free trade, with CETA enjoying overall public support; whereas the US populist movement has more characteristics of protectionism and nationalism which disrupts economic agreements. This project will involve mixed-methods, triangulated research drawing upon qualitative and quantitative analyses produced in government, academic, political party, non-governmental and think tank settings. The author will conduct content analysis of government documents, legislative proceedings, journalistic and political party and NGO publications. This will be supplemented by surveys of public opinion done in the target countries by polling firms, university institutes or government agencies. Comparisons will be drawn between populist political positions on trade deals, immigration and mass migration found in the US, UK, Canada and Australia to identify the extent and sources of variations in approaches by these right-wing populist variants, while also considering the extent or potential for left populist responses.
Protectionism vs. Globalization: The False Choices of Contemporary Political Economy: Paul Kellogg (Athabasca University) Abstract: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – born in controversy in 1994 and put to rest in controversy in 2018 – has been replaced by the less acronym-friendly United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), sometimes called NAFTA 2.0 for easy identification. The 1994 NAFTA-debate polarized between neoliberal globalizers and an impressive, progressive, anti-neoliberal coalition of trade unions and social movements. In 2018, neoliberal globalizers were still on the stage, but this time their opponents were Trump and his team of white-nationalist, right-wing, populist protectionists. The progressive anti-free trade forces of 1994 were almost completely absent. This absence is the inevitable consequence of an unexamined protectionism, deeply embedded in Canadian political economy through the entire “free-trade” era. This protectionism variously blames Mexico or China for job losses in this continent, and periodically offers as an “alternative,” campaigns to “Buy Canadian” or “Buy American”. However, the gutting of manufacturing in the United States and to a lesser extent in Canada has other, more complex causes. Further, this “progressive” protectionism has politically disarmed today’s social movements in the face of Trump and his “America First” right wing trade policies. A 21st century progressive trade agenda has to move beyond protectionism, turn its gaze away from “the other” in either Mexico or China, and instead towards the debilitating non-equivalent exchange which is at the root of trade and investment problems in contemporary capitalism.
Global Economic Integration, Dispossession and the Migration Crisis: The Cases of Tunisia and Morocco: Angela Joya (University of Oregon) Abstract: The first two decades of this century has witnessed a large number of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and North Africa seeking refuge in Europe and beyond. While the wars and conflicts in the region have been the main drivers of displacement of people, the economic imperatives associated with the globalization project (neoliberalism) have also played an important role. The latter however has not been studied sufficiently to explore the links between forced displacement in the region and the globalization project (privatization, deregulation & liberalization). Rather, neoliberalism is continually prescribed as a solution to the on-going problems of rising unemployment levels in the region.
Since the Arab uprisings of 2011, however, a significant body of research has explored the links between market reforms, youth unemployment and movement of youth from the Maghreb region. In this paper, I examine the cases of Morocco and Tunisia to explore the extent to which the economic reform policies of the period of market liberalization (1980s-1990s) contributed to the current wave of migration from the Maghreb region. I draw on country reports by global financial institutions, policy documents from each of the respective countries, newspaper articles from Tunisia and Morocco as well as scholarly work that has emerged in the recent years on the topic of migration and global neoliberalism.