Book Talk with Adam Dean (In Person)


Thursday, November 3, 2022, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


61 Kirkland Street, Second Floor

"Opening Up by Cracking Down: Labor Repression and Trade Liberalization in Democratic Developing Countries"

Join former WSP visiting scholar Adam Dean to discuss his recent book, Opening Up by Cracking Down, Labor Repression and Trade Liberalization in Democratic Developing Countries (Cambridge University Press, September 2022).


Adam Dean, Assistant Professor of Political Science, George Washington University.


Ted Gilman, Executive Director, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.


How did democratic developing countries open their economies during the late-twentieth century? Since labor unions opposed free trade, democratic governments often used labor repression to ease the process of trade liberalization. Some democracies brazenly jailed union leaders and used police brutality to break the strikes that unions launched against such reforms. Others weakened labor union opposition through subtler tactics, such as banning strikes and retaliating against striking workers. Either way, this book argues that democratic developing countries were more likely to open their economies if they violated labor rights. Opening Up By Cracking Down draws on fieldwork interviews and archival research on Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia, Turkey, and India, as well as quantitative analysis of data from over one hundred developing countries to places labor unions and labor repression at the heart of the debate over democracy and trade liberalization in developing countries.

Speaker Bio:

Adam Dean joined the Department of Political Science at George Washington University in the summer of 2017. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, his MSc from the London School of Economics, and his PhD from the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the political economy of international trade, labor politics, American Political Development, and the socioeconomic determinant of public health. He teaches courses on International Relations, International Political Economy, and American history.