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Labour Markets and Welfare State: What Globalisation Does (Not) Imply
It is a widely held opinion among both citizens and elites in advanced capitalist countries that globalisation exerts formidable pressure on the working of their labour markets and social protection systems. It is believed that the increase in productive processes either induces greater wage inequality or creates unemployment among the least skilled workers, whereas the integration of financial markets and increased mobility of capitals obliges states to lower taxation on capitals and drastically reduces their capacity to act as political-economic guides and pursue redistribution policies. All this is said to be to the detriment of social protection systems, inexorably bound to converge and trim down to the slim silhouette many believe to be a necessary condition for the survival of any national economy in the global market. This essay questions many of these conclusions, but also reveals that one aspect of globalisation is fraught with consequences for prosperous contemporary states; namely, its political and ideological dimension as a result of the building of the public discourse in advanced democracies – in other words, its political logic.