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WG Nationalism, populism and the economy Subgroup 1: Globalization and Populism – Oxford-22 Working Group Terms of Reference

Rising inequality is one factor in the recent growth in support for populist political parties, who argue that there are simple solutions to economic problems - these are frequently attributed to external organisations or to disfavoured groups such as immigrants.

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Fide’s 2nd international congress at Jesus College Oxford will take place next April, on the 4th, 5th, and 6th.

The overarching topic of the congress is Nationalism, populism, and identities: contemporary challenges. In the global context, the growth of nationalism and populism is one of the greatest challenges facing not only Europe but also North and South America and the Asia Pacific. This can be a destructive force if it means that states retreat into an isolationist mindset and away from effective multilateral solutions to perceived cross-border problems.

The congress will analyse Nationalism and populism from a legal and economic perspective. We will cover aspects of the impact of nationalist/ populist policies on the funding of South American pension schemes where there have been unexpected calls on funds to deal with the effects of COVID-19

The Congress will also cover other cross-cutting issues, using free-standing panels on EU refugee externalisation policies, climate change issues (with specific reference to the outcome of the Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 in November 2021 in Glasgow), and misinformation and free speech in modern democratic societies.


Nationalism and populism were an accident waiting to happen, but it is not too late to fix the policy fault lines which have given rise to unacceptable nationalism. This Chapter focuses on the impact of a major factor which crosses national boundaries, namely globalisation. Yet it is the impact at a sub- national level which creates citizens’ mistrust in a system which seems to have little relevance to their troubles, e.g. internal, local consequences like the closure of a factory, sometimes driven by the demands of sustainable development or the growth of digital technology. Thus, proposals for future change are developed in this Chapter in six main directions:1. Expanding the scope of the policies: the framework of rules under which exchange of goods, labour, investment and know-how occur can be expanded to include fairness considerations, including individuals’ right to retain the right and liberty to remain rooted to their own traditions, religion, culture and, generally, ecosystem. Also, global policy should be more sensitive to local needs. 2. Exercising regulatory influence: global or European regulatory institutions can be formed to ensure that globalization is fair. 3. Ensuring fine-tuned governance of international institutions: empowering them to engage more with the new paradigm is a priority. 4. Engaging corporates and multinationals to working in such direction: this would foster policies at micro level. 5. Redistributing costs of globalization: active measures can be taken to ensure that the costs of globalization can be redistributed in a fairer way. 6. Education for all and promotion of a new attitude: this priority would facilitate reaching the five directions proposed above.

  1. The facts
    • Distributional effects of free trade
    • Offshoring trends
    • Immigration flows
    • Movers versus stayers
  2. The re-birth of nationalism and protectionism
  3. A new and fairer globalization

Terms of Reference

  1. The facts

What do we mean by globalisation? The increase in trade flows? The increase in immigration flows? The creation of global value chains and the process of offshoring of certain sectors of the economy, specifically manufacturing? What has been the impact of the globalisation process for the economies of Europe and the US? Who are the winners and losers of this process within those economies? Can we say that our societies are divided between those who belong to a globalised, technology-oriented, cosmopolitan society (the movers) and those who have been hit hard by globalisation (the stayers)?

The first task of the Subgroup will be to write a document describing the process of globalisation of the world economy, the impact of this process for the economies in Europe and the US and, in particular, the distributional effects of such trends. We will discuss in particular how different social groups were exposed to, and affected in their identity by, the globalisation of the economy.

  1. The re-birth of nationalism and protectionism

After decades of significant growth in international trade, due to the elimination of tariffs by means of bilateral but also multilateral agreements and the development of global value chains, countries all over the world are raising barriers to trade, seeking to protect their industries and re-shore employment. Multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organization appear to be mortally wounded, tariffs wars are again occupying the front pages of newspapers, and behind the border obstacles to trade are now commonly used by governments in the West.

The second task of the Subgroup will be to document these developments, but also to discuss the causes of these changes: are they related to the trends described in the previous paper? We will also discuss the implications of these protectionists policies for economic growth.

  1. A new and fairer globalization

There are many reasons why it makes sense to foster international trade. Some have to do with the efficiency of our economies; others with the need to fight against global poverty, ill-perceived austerity, climate change, etc; and finally, a protectionist world is one in which war is much more likely.

In this last paper the Subgroup will consider how to move back to a multilateral world, where trade across regions and, in particular, between the North and the South is re-energised while ensuring that the benefits of such a multilateral order are better distributed and better respecting sustainable development goals than they were in the past. Can we make the globalisation process fair both across regions and within countries? Can we distribute the gains from trade so that globalisation is no longer seen as a zero-sum game but rather as a Pareto improvement?

Jorge Padilla and Laurent Manderieux for FIDE Foundation

WG Members:


Laurent Manderieux

Professor of Intellectual Property Law at L. Bocconi University of Milan, Italy. Member of Fide’s Academic Council(Leader of the SG)

Constructive Friend:

Jorge Padilla

Senior Managing Director and Head of Compass Lexecon EMEA. Member of Fide’s International Academic Council. (Leader of the WG E and constructive friend of this SG)

Jesús Almoguera

Lawyer at J. Almoguera Abogados. Specialised in arbitration, complex corporate and financial litigation and restructuring. Member of Fide’s Academic Council

Enrique Chamorro

Partner in the Department of M&A and Private Equity at DLA Piper. Collaborator with the DLA Piper Committee of Latin America

Prof. Gabriele Gagliani

Lecturer and Researcher in International Law, Adjunct Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, USA, International Consultant in International Economic Law

Prof. Elisabetta Marafioti

Associate Professor of Business & Economics and Director of Research Center, Biccoca University, Milan Italy

Kadambari Prasad

Vice President at Compass Lexecon, based in London. She has eight years of experience in merger control, Article 101 and Article 102 and arbitration cases.

Juan Rivera

Senior Managing Director, Strategic Communications, FTI Consulting

* Important note: All members of the Working Groups and panels participate in an individual, non-institutional capacity, although we reflect each participant with their current position in the different working documents to better identify them.

Oxford Congress /22:

Nationalism, populism and identities: contemporary challenges

Oxford /22: Nationalism, populism and identities: contemporary challenges

Full info on our 2nd international congress at Oxford

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Oxford/22 Next Steps

In the next phase, the Working Groups and Panels continue to work to prepare and present their final conclusions and proposals papers, taking in all the feedback and work carried out during the discussion sessions in Oxford

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