Charles Lipson
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E-mail: [email protected]

Voice: 773.702.8053

Fax:    773.702.1689


Charles Lipson

Professor of Political Science

University of Chicago

5828 S. University Ave.

Chicago, IL 60637


Political Threats to Global Prosperity

There is a growing political threat to global prosperity. It comes from a coalition of

  • economic protectionists,
  • environmentalists, and
  • anti-globalization activists

in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Protectionists are drawn mainly from labor and business in industries that are sensitive to wage costs and compete heavily with imports. They are joined by environmentalists whose main concern is that polluting industries can move abroad (or threaten to do so) rather than cleanup their operations at home. Environmentalists are also intensely opposed to trade in bio-engineered foods. Finally, there are anti-globalization activists of all stripes, concerned about economic dislocations and other threats to social welfare.

These groups are increasingly important to the Democratic Party in the US (especially its congressional leadership) and to Social Democrats throughout Europe. Their influence is growing. One sign is the Democratic Party's opposition to NAFTA, apparent even when President Clinton was in office. Another are the large and often violent protests against any new negotiations at the World Trade Organization.

This coalition poses a real threat to the political foundations of global prosperity, which include

  • open markets for trade in manufactured products and
  • relatively open markets for trade in services.

Building on these foundations, advanced economies have prospered by specialization and exchange. They have also turned increasingly to labor-intensive manufactures from Asia and Latin America--adding significantly to prosperity in those regions.





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How to Write a Thesis 20th c World Politics to 1945
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Politics and Culture 20th c World Politics 1945-91
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World News Power, Identity, Resistance The World America Made
Middle East News   Political Threats to Global Prosperity
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  Israel's Challenges
How to Write a Thesis   China in World Politics
Getting a Recommendation   The Cold War
  Why We Fought WW2
Charles Lipson, 2008