Beyond Economics: The Social and Political Consequences of Deindustrialization
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Beyond Economics: The Social and Political Consequences of Deindustrialization

A RESEARCH PROJECT IN POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY BY ANNEMARIE JEANNET HAS OBTAINED AN ERC STARTING GRANT. SHE WILL STUDY THE EFFECTS OF DEINDUSTRIALIZATION ON POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN A TIME FRAME SPANNING FROM 1965 TO 2015

Deindustrialization comes with a price tag. Multiple price tags, in fact. It isn’t only a question of GNP and it doesn’t affect only the lives of those who lose their jobs. «It affects individuals, families, and communities and it is likely to have shaped the political socialization of young people living in deindustrializing areas», says Anne-Marie Jeannet, the research fellow who has obtained a ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council for DESPO (Deindustrializing Societies and the Political Consequences), a research project in political sociology, «and yet, only the economic side has been thoroughly investigated».
 
«While academic literature is rich with economic analyses of deindustrialization in recent years, my research project studies it in a multidimensional and long-term view», Dr. Jeannet says. «I will study a time frame spanning from 1965 to 2015 in Germany, the UK, and the US using both business registry data and longitudinal micro-data that will allow for the observation of individuals and households at the local level».
 
The preliminary results of a pilot study currently underway suggest an alternative to the prevailing narrative that populism has been driven by the losers of the globalization process. «In the first place», Dr. Jeannet explains, «deindustrialization and globalization are not the same: the former predates the latter. In second place, the main consequence of deindustrialization seems to be a reduction in satisfaction with democracy and withdrawal from political life, not necessarily populist inclinations. And it makes sense: as industrialization and democratic participation have historically gone hand-in-hand, a decline in manufacturing has reconfigured the way that citizens view and participate within their political system».

by Fabio Todesco

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