Student Research Paper
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Over the last 30 years, voter turnout, which is often considered to be an important sign of the vitality of a democracy, has been decreasing throughout the world. Traditional factors that drive voter turnout have not dramatically changed within the same period, suggesting that another factor is potentially at play. I contend that globalization, specifically economic globalization, has played a significant role in driving down voter turnout in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. First, economic globalization limits national autonomy in areas of economic policy by constraining national policymakers in their ability to implement substantive policy change. Second, as a result of the limiting effects of economic globalization on national autonomy, citizens increasingly view their vote as having less capacity to influence economic policy, which in turn causes them to be more likely consider the traditional costs of voting, such as time and effort. Through an analysis of over 180 countries spanning the time period of 1970 to 2018, I demonstrate that there is a negative relationship between levels of economic globalization and voter turnout. My findings suggest that the rate at which political elites within a particular country pursue economic globalization can directly influence how much of their electorate ultimately decide to vote in their country’s legislative elections, which has significant ramifications for the future as debates about the merits of globalization continue to dominate contemporary political discussion as the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Mahoney, Patrick L., "The Effects of Economic Globalization on Voter Turnout" (2022). Student Publications. 1043.