Going nativist: how nativism and economic ideology interact to shape beliefs about global trade

Powers, K. E., Reifler, J. and Scotto, T. J. (2021) Going nativist: how nativism and economic ideology interact to shape beliefs about global trade. Foreign Policy Analysis, 17(3), orab015. (doi: 10.1093/fpa/orab015)

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Existing research explains variation in trade attitudes by pitting explanations rooted in the foreign part of foreign economic policy, like nativism, against economic beliefs like a commitment to free market principles. But what happens when these factors create significant cross-pressures—how do free market-oriented nativists think about trade? We argue that nativism is a higher-order belief that constrains the relationship between lower-order economic attitudes and beliefs about international trade. We test our argument using representative samples from the United States and United Kingdom. First, we analyze observational data and find a significant interaction whereby nativism moderates the relationship between free market attitudes and beliefs that trade provides national and global benefits. Second, we report results from a survey experiment to show that a message about the long-term benefits from free trade increases support for free trade in both samples. Importantly, we also find that nativist values weaken the treatment effect in the US sample. As long as international relations scholars focus on cultural or economic antecedents on their own, we miss much about how elements in belief systems interact.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scotto, Professor Thomas
Authors: Powers, K. E., Reifler, J., and Scotto, T. J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Foreign Policy Analysis
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1743-8594
Published Online:22 May 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Foreign Policy Analysis 17(3): orab015
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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