Europe's next nightmare: Right-wing extremism
People walk at central Athens Syntagma square in front of the Parliament in Athens on November 8, 2011 (Photo credit: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images).
November 9th, 2011
02:27 PM ET

Europe's next nightmare: Right-wing extremism

Editor's Note: Dani Rodrik is a Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University and he is the author of The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy. For more from Rodrik, visit Project Syndicate or follow it on Facebook and Twitter. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dani Rodrik.

By Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate

As if the economic ramifications of a full-blown Greek default were not terrifying enough, the political consequences could be far worse. A chaotic eurozone breakup would cause irreparable damage to the European integration project, the central pillar of Europe’s political stability since World War II. It would destabilize not only the highly-indebted European periphery, but also core countries like France and Germany, which have been the architects of that project.

The nightmare scenario would also be a 1930’s-style victory for political extremism. Fascism, Nazism, and communism were children of a backlash against globalization that had been building since the end of the nineteenth century, feeding on the anxieties of groups that felt disenfranchised and threatened by expanding market forces and cosmopolitan elites.

Free trade and the gold standard had required downplaying domestic priorities such as social reform, nation-building, and cultural reassertion. Economic crisis and the failure of international cooperation undermined not only globalization, but also the elites that upheld the existing order.


The manufacturing imperative
New 2005 Ford Mustangs are assembled at a new plant known as Auto Alliance International September 27, 2004 in Flat Rock, Michigan. (Getty Images)
August 10th, 2011
11:33 AM ET

The manufacturing imperative

Editor's Note: Dani Rodrik is Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University and author of The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World EconomyFor more from Rodrick, visit Project Syndicate's website, or check it out on Facebook and Twitter.

By Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate

We may live in a post-industrial age, in which information technologies, biotech, and high-value services have become drivers of economic growth. But countries ignore the health of their manufacturing industries at their peril.

High-tech services demand specialized skills and create few jobs, so their contribution to aggregate employment is bound to remain limited. Manufacturing, on the other hand, can absorb large numbers of workers with moderate skills, providing them with stable jobs and good benefits. For most countries, therefore, it remains a potent source of high-wage employment. FULL POST