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Die Grenzen der populistischen Revolte

CAMBRIDGE – In zahlreichen westlichen Demokratien haben wir es heuer mit dem Jahr der Revolten gegen die Eliten zu tun. Der Erfolg der Brexit-Kampagne in Großbritannien, Donald Trumps unerwartete Vereinnahmung der Republikanischen Partei in den Vereinigten Staaten sowie der Erfolg populistischer Parteien in Deutschland und anderswo erscheinen vielen als Vorboten des Endes einer Ära. Der Kolumnist Philip Stephens von der Financial Timesformuliert es folgendermaßen: „Die derzeitige Weltordnung – also das auf liberalen Regeln basierende 1945 begründete und nach dem Kalten Krieg erweiterte System – steht unter beispiellosem Druck. Die Globalisierung befindet sich auf dem Rückzug.“  

Tatsächlich ist es wohl verfrüht, derart weitreichende Schlussfolgerungen zu ziehen.

Einige Ökonomen orten die Gründe der derzeitigen Populismus-Welle in der „Hyper-Globalisierung“ der 1990er Jahre, wobei die Liberalisierung internationaler Finanzströme und die Gründung der Welthandelsorganisation (WTO)  – insbesondere Chinas WTO-Beitritt im Jahr 2001 – im Mittelpunkt der Aufmerksamkeit stehen. Einer Studie zufolge verloren die USA von 1999 bis 2011 aufgrund chinesischer Importe beinahe eine Million Arbeitsplätze in der Industrieproduktion; bezieht man auch Zulieferer und verwandte Branchen mit ein, beläuft sich der Verlust an Arbeitsplätzen auf 2,4 Millionen.

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