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JSPES, Vol. 46, No. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 2021)
pp. 51-80

Does Globalization Increase Civil Unrest Among Unemployed Youth?

Subaran Roy
Swetasree Roy

Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India

Existing literature suggests that the presence of large youth cohorts make countries more vulnerable to the risk of civil unrest of all forms. There is contradictory evidences as well. This paper examines the role of youth unemployment on civil unrest in a globalized world. Using a Nobel dataset on globalization which categorizes globalization into its major pillars, and more recent information on youth unemployment & urban social unrest, we find new evidence which contradicts conventional wisdom. Our results indicate that youth unemployment does not lead to any onset of  unrest per se. However, in the presence of trade and finance globalization, it does play a positive and significant role by increasing the likelihood of unrest. Our findings imply that a one standard deviation increase in youth unemployment around its mean value in the presence of trade globalization increases the likelihood of disruptive events by 1.08 units. Similarly, for finance globalization the chances of events rise by 0.921 units. In addition, for 82 countries in our dataset, large scale finance and trade globalization also contribute to a surge in likelihood. Results remain robust after inclusion of relevant macroeconomic variables and regional dummies. The current findings suggest that caution should be employed in ascribing alleged benefits of globalization to youths.