a1 Department of Government at the University of Essex, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
a2 Department of Government at the University of Essex, Email: email@example.com
a3 Department of Government at the University of Essex, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The authors argue that the effects of economic globalization on social democratic parties in Western Europe are conditional on the position of the median voter. If the median is far enough to the right, such parties will adopt business-friendly policies because they are required to win office. Only when the median is relatively far to the left will globalization constrain social democratic parties, forcing them to adopt policies further to the right in order to retain credibility. It is on this basis the authors argue that empirical studies are misspecified unless they include an interaction between measures of globalization and the position of the median. In addition to presenting formal theoretical arguments, the article reports empirical findings from fifteen countries in the period from 1973 to 2002 that support the conclusion that the effects of globalization are indeed contingent on the median. The authors find that the effects of globalization are significant for social democratic parties only in circumstances in which the median is relatively far to the left.
(Online publication July 08 2011)
Hugh Ward is a professor in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. His recent work applies social network theory to international cooperation and conflict.
Lawrence Ezrow is an associate professor in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. He has written on democracy, political representation, elections, political parties, party strategies, and political institutions. His most recent book is Linking Citizens and Parties (2010).
Han Dorussen is a professor in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. His current research interests include the relationship between trade and conflict, peacekeeping operations and the governance of postconflict societies, and policy convergence and burden sharing in the European Union.
* We would like to acknowledge the valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper made by Jim Adams, Jay Dow, Tim Hellwig, Vera Troeger, and Andrew Whitford. We also thank Spyros Kosmidis for research assistance.