Session Submission Summary

Direct link:

Regulating Economic Competition in the Era of Populist Politics

Thu, August 30, 2:00 to 3:30pm, Hynes, 103

Session Submission Type: Full Paper Panel

Session Description

This panel asks how political authorities in different countries have adjusted their strategies for regulating economic competition in response to changing conditions. As one of the key dimensions of state action, regulation depends heavily on the kind of technical expertise that is increasingly challenged by populist political movements. The ascendance of such movements is widely seen as a reaction against the elites who have presided over the increasing mobility of capital as well as labor. Yet the precise relationship between populist politics and changing forms of regulation remains unclear. In the United States, Donald Trump’s strand of populism includes an explicit program of dismantling the federal government’s regulatory capabilities. In most European countries, populist movements do not seek to curtail state capabilities, but rather to reshape those capabilities in ways that exclude immigrants and other newcomers who are seen as outside the national community.

The panel illuminates these linkages by comparing strategies for regulating labor as well as finance in a range of contexts. The presenters are all accomplished researchers in their respective subfields. By pairing two papers on labor and two on finance, the panel examines the two main inputs into economic activity. The papers include substantial analysis of the United States as well as other cases that put the U.S. into comparative perspective. And the papers examine regulatory capabilities at several levels of analysis or jurisdiction – from the subnational (Galvin on states and localities within the United States) to firm-level (Schrank) and industry-level (Ziegler) to cross national comparison (Trumbull). The two discussants are distinguished scholars of regulatory politics, one from the perspective of American politics (Carpenter) and the other from the field of International Political Economy (Mosley). By bringing this group of scholars together, the panel promises a fascinating discussion of current research on new constraints as well as openings for state action in a rapidly shifting political landscape.

Sub Unit

Individual Presentations