GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

Left Behind in the Brexit Capital?

MIN READAug 9, 2017 | 08:00 GMT

Stoke-on-Trent is in central England and is known for its pottery industry.

Stoke-on-Trent Central has voted for the Labour Party (usually by hefty margins) in every election since it was created in 1950

(CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/Getty Images)

The swing away from liberalization and globalization and toward protectionism and nationalism is probably the biggest political earthquake of recent times in wealthy Western countries, and explaining it is probably the biggest intellectual challenge. Until we understand its causes, after all, we cannot address them. Theories abound, but the most popular explanation for the shift seems to be that though globalization has lifted more than a billion people out of extreme poverty in the last 20 years and created a new global elite, it has done little or nothing for the working and middle classes in rich countries. Not only left behind by the boom but also seeing others prosper, tens of millions of angry voters -- mostly white, mostly less educated and often past their prime -- are ready to support anyone who stands against the status quo and offers radical change. But is this really what's happening?...

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