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Remettre la révolte populiste à sa place

CAMBRIDGE Dans de nombreuses démocraties occidentales, cette année est une année de révolte contre les élites. Le succès de la campagne du Brexit en Grande-Bretagne, la prise de pouvoir inattendue au Parti républicain des États-Unis par Donald Trump et le succès des partis populistes en Allemagne et ailleurs résonnent chez bien des gens comme les signes avant-coureurs de la fin d'une époque. Comme le remarque le chroniqueur Philip Stephens du Financial Times, « l'ordre mondial actuel - le système fondé sur des règles libérales, créé en 1945 et élargi après la fin de la Guerre froide, connaît une pression sans précédent. La mondialisation est en recul. »

En fait, il nous semble prématuré de tirer des conclusions aussi générales.

Certains économistes attribuent la montée actuelle du populisme à « l'hyper-mondialisation » des années 1990, avec la libéralisation des flux financiers internationaux et la création de l'Organisation Mondiale du Commerce, où l'accession de la Chine à l'OMC en 2001 a particulièrement retenu l'attention. D'après une étude, les importations chinoises ont supprimé près d'un million d'emplois américains dans l'industrie de 1999 à 2011, notamment chez les fournisseurs et les industries connexes, ce qui représente 2,4 millions d'emplois en moins.

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