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In the heyday of the gold standard, Frieden argues, mainstream political actors had to downplay social reform and national identity because they gave priority to international economic ties. The response took one of two fatal forms in the interwar period: Socialists and communists chose social reform, while fascists chose national assertion. Both paths led away from globalization to economic closure (and far worse).Two types of political cleavage are exacerbated in the process: an identity cleavage, revolving around nationhood, ethnicity, or religion, and an income cleavage, revolving around social class.Right-wing populists such as Trump engage in identity politics.It treats globalization and the rules that sustain it as inexorable and inevitable.It was the choice of governments to loosen regulations on finance and aim for full cross-border capital mobility, just as it was a choice to maintain these policies largely intact, despite a massive global financial crisis.If one lesson of history is the danger of globalization running amok, another is the malleability of capitalism. It was the New Deal, the welfare state, and controlled globalization (under the Bretton Woods regime) that eventually gave market-oriented societies a new lease on life and produced the post-war boom.
Worrying about income gaps within or between countries
Studying what’s driving populism
Can global rules prevent national self-harm?
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