How Education Moderates the Relation between Globalization and Nationalist Attitudes

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‘‘We do not believe in the division between left and right. The true division is between those who want globalization and those who do not. We are a patriotic party,’’ stated the party leader of Hungarian Jobbik (Movement for a better Hungary) (Phillips, 2010). This is an example of how popular radical right-wing parties propagate renewed national pride as a response to globalization. It is often theorized that nationalist attitudes are strengthened by globalization because processes of globalization would constitute a threat to national culture and interests (Norris, 2005). Alternatively, because globalization implies increased knowledge of and contact with other people, products, and cultures, it might also lead to less nationalist attitudes (Norris & Inglehart, 2009). In this contribution, we examine these two possibilities with a greater number of countries and a more extended period than previous research (Ariely, 2012; Evans & Kelley, 2002; Kunovich, 2009; Norris & Inglehart, 2009). Moreover, that research did not examine whether globalization differently affects the nationalist attitude of the higher and lower educated. This is a relevant question because the theoretical literature predicts different consequences of globalization for feelings of insecurity and related nationalist attitudes, depending on the level of education (Brown & Lauder, 1996; Hainmueller & Hiscox, 2006). We analyze nationalist attitudes of more than 400,000 respondents in 52 countries in the period 1981–2009. For those 52 countries we have the information at three or more time points, and therefore we are also able to study the relation between the level of globalization and support of nationalist attitudes within countries. We not only focus on the relationship between globalization and nationalist attitudes, but also on the differential influence of globalization for higher and lower educated. The central question is as follows: Does globalization affect people’s nationalist attitudes positively or negatively and does this effect differ for educational levels?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-500
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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