Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type



Arts and Sciences


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Horace Bartilow


The theoretical argument of this study is that economic globalization, by default, exerts a downward pressure on the social policies of states largely through the operations of transnational corporations. However, since globalization’s effect on social policy is conditional on endogenous political forces such as regime type, democratization, electoral competition and political participation, its proclivity to retrench the welfare state is averted by the preferences of political actors and institutions to expand social spending. This argument found consistent empirical support via a series of cross-section regressions that estimated the interactive effects of economic globalization and various measures of domestic political institutions and affiliations for a sample of 120 countries from 1970 to 2002. Case studies of South Korea, Chile and Spain provided additional qualitative evidence for the study’s theoretical argument.



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