In recent years, the world has seen a rising backlash against globalization, including a backlash against the European Union. The article presented in this lecture reviews the state of the art on the nature, causes, and consequences of the globalization backlash. It shows that contrary to a popular narrative, the globalization backlash is not associated with a large swing in public opinion against globalization, but rather a result of its politicization. The increasing influence of globalization-skeptic actors has resulted in more protectionist, isolationist and nationalist policies, some of which fundamentally threaten core pillars of the contemporary international order. Both material and non-material causes drive the globalization backlash, and these causes coexist, interact, and mediate each other. The consequences are shaped by the responses of societal actors, national governments, and international policymakers. These responses can either yield to and reinforce, or push back against the globalization backlash. Understanding the dynamics this produces will be an important task for future research.
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