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The challenge of globalisation: a world-wide investigation of public attitudes on individual vs. government responsibility

Published Online:pp 381-398

In this article we explore the link between economic globalisation and individual attitudes toward government responsibility for provision of its citizens. Two opposing views on the effect of globalisation is presented, along with a third where the argument is that the direction is different for developed and developing countries. The hypotheses are tested using individual-level data from the World Values Survey, together with a measure of economic globalisation taken from the KOF Index. Our sample is drawn from 79 countries from all continents. The results show that there is a general rightist effect of globalisation on individual vs. government responsibility. However, the findings also revealed a curvilinear effect: the slope changes from leftist to rightist after a certain turning point has been reached. The evidence indicates that economic globalisation has an effect on public attitudes on economic questions. When people realise their country is competitive in the global market, they shift their attitudes to the right.

Keywords

multilevel modelling, compensation hypothesis, economic globalisation, government responsibility, public attitudes, political behaviour, individual responsibility