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Alpine Winter Conference 2022

Populism and Scholarship in International Business and Public Policy: Fostering Research, Connecting Researchers


Co-hosted by University of Innsbruck and WU Vienna

January 10-14, 2022


Conference program (all times in CET).

  • January 9: Arrival in Vienna at conference hotel
  • January 10: Conference day 1 at WU Vienna
    • 09:00-09:45 Arrival and coffee
    • 09:45-10:00 Workshop opening: Thomas Lindner (University of Innsbruck)
    • 10:00-11:30 Panel: Conceptualizing and measuring populism
      Panel chair and primary discussant: Christopher Hartwell (Kozminski University)
      Panelists: Sergei Guriev (Sciences Po) & Martin Rode (University of Navarra)
      Lead-in paper presentation (10): Matt Rašković (Victoria University of Wellington), Kati Takacs-Haynes (University of Delaware, Lerner), & Anastas Vangeli (University of Ljubljana), “Populism as a Critical Institution: A Social Psychology Framework
    • 11:30-12:30 Paper presentation and discussion (03): Arnab Choudhury (Indian School of Business), Srividya Jandhyala (ESSEC Business School), & Anand Nandkumar (Indian Business School), “Economic Nationalism and the Home Court Advantage
      Discussant: Arjen Slangen (KU Leuven)
    • 12:30-14:00 Lunch break
    • 14:00-15:00 Paper presentation and discussion (02): Harald Puhr (University of Innsbruck) & Jakob Müllner (WU Vienna), “Beyond Institutional Structures: A Grassroots Concept and Measure for Socio-Political Risk Using Google Trends
      Discussant: Witold Henisz (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton)
    • 15:30-16:30 Paper presentation and discussion (01): Barclay James (St. Mary’s University) & Paul Vaaler (University of Minnesota), “Political Populism, Partisanship, and Investment Risk in Europe
      Discussant: Igor Filatotchev (King’s Business School)
    • 18:30 Dinner
  • January 11: Conference day 2 at WU Vienna
    • 09:00-10:00 Arrival and coffee in department lounge
    • 10:00-11:00 Paper presentation and discussion (04): Douglas Dow (Melbourne Business School), Ilya Cuypers (Singapore Management University), & Gokhan Ertug (Singapore Management University), “Nationalism and Trade: Exploring Some of the Mediating and Moderating Factors
      Discussant: Jonas Puck (WU Vienna)
    • 11:00-12:00 Paper presentation and discussion (13): Aleksi Eerola (KU Leuven), Arjen Slangen (KU Leuven), Riccardo Valboni (Utrecht University), & Thomas Lindner (University of Innsbruck), “Responsible Blockholders, CEOs, and Tax-Motivated International Relocations of Corporate Headquarters: A Social Identity Perspective
      Discussant: Christopher Hartwell (Kozminski University)
    • 12:00-13:30 Lunch break
    • 13:30-14:30 Paper presentation and discussion (06): Michael Wolfesberger (WU Vienna), “Political Risk Changes and Restructuring: The Constraining Influence of Complexity
      Discussant: Barclay James (St. Mary’s University)
    • 14:30-15:30 Paper presentation and discussion (05): Ariel Casarin (University Adolfo Ibanez), Sinziana Dorobantu (New York University, Stern), & Angel Saz-Carranza (ESADE Business School), “Nationalism, Firm Place Identity, and Firm Value: Evidence from the Catalan Secession Crisis
      Discussant: Paul Vaaler (University of Minnesota)
    • 16:00-17:00 Panel: Publishing at the International Business/International Political Economy Frontier
      Panel chair: Jonathan Doh (Villanova University)
      Panelists: Dorottya Sallai (London School of Economics and Political Science), Paul Vaaler (University of Minnesota)
    • 17:00-17:30 Closing of WU sessions: Thomas Lindner (University of Innsbruck)
  • January 12: Travel day from Vienna to Innsbruck (direct hourly train link)
  • January 13: Conference day 1 at University of Innsbruck
    • 10:00-10:30 Innsbruck opening: Thomas Lindner (University of Innsbruck)
    • 10:30-11:30 Paper presentation and discussion (09): Daniel Kinderman (University of Delaware), Andreas Nölke (Goethe University Frankfurt), Dorottya Sallai (London School of Economics and Political Science), & Gerhard Schnyder (Loughborough University London) “When do Populist Governments Target Foreign MNEs? Evidence from East Central Europe
      Discussant: Jakob Müllner (WU Vienna)
    • 11:30-13:00 Lunch break
    • 13:00-14:00 Paper presentation and discussion (08): Vera Kunczer (WU Vienna), Rian Drogendijk (University of Groningen), & Jonas Puck (WU Vienna), “Public Sentiment and International Alliance Performance: The Role of Anti-Foreigner Sentiments
      Discussant: Jonathan Doh (Villanova University)
    • 14:00-15:00 Paper presentation and discussion (07): Anne Spencer Jamison (Copenhagen Business School) & Witold Henisz (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton) “Economic Anxiety, Cultural Backlash and Populism: Cross-National Variation in a Recursive Ideational System
      Discussant: Igor Filatotchev (King’s Business School)
  • January 14: Conference day 2 at University of Innsbruck
    • 11:00-12:00 Paper presentation and discussion (14): Evelyn Reithofer (WU Vienna), Jakob Müllner (WU Vienna), & Jonas Puck (WU Vienna), “Ballot Boost or Bust? Abnormal Returns during US presidential Elections
      Discussant: Paul Vaaler (University of Minnesota)
    • 12:00-13:30 Lunch break
    • 13:30-14:30 Paper presentation and discussion (11): Markus Liebmann (WU Vienna), “Populism and FDI location choice
      Discussant: Sinziana Dorobantu (New York University, Stern)
    • 15:00-16:30 Panel: Theory and measurement on the frontline of IB and political science research
      Panel chairs: Jakob Müllner (WU Vienna) & Paul Vaaler (University of Minnesota)
    • 16:30-17:00 Closing session: Thomas Lindner (University of Innsbruck)
  • January 15: Departure Day

Conference organizers

Conference topic and rationale

We invited scholars from different fields to attend an “Alpine” winter conference in Vienna and Innsbruck, Austria from January 10-14, 2022 to share research on populism and its implications for international business (IB) and public policy. The conference was organized as a paper development workshop and designed to connect junior scholars to like-minded peers, and to offer hands-on guidance from senior faculty for developing research on populism and IB/public policy. The workshop focussed on proposals and working papers for presentation addressing a broad range of populism and IB/public policy topics. The workshop was also connected to a forthcoming special issue (SI) of the Journal of International Business Policy (JIBP) co-edited by workshop senior faculty: http://resource-cms.springernature.com/springer-cms/rest/v1/content/19363426/data/v3. The winter conference in January 2022 was organized and financially supported by the School of Management (Institute for Strategic Management, Marketing, and Tourism), the EPoS (Economy, Politics, and Society) research centre at the University of Innsbruck (UI), and the Department of Global Business and Trade as well as the Institute for International Business at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).

Aims of and questions to be addressed at the workshop

Despite a rich early history in IB research (Robinson, 1963; Vernon, 1971, Kobrin, 1987), the topic of populism has seen little attention over decades of work based on the assumption of increasing global economic and political integration. Recent developments slowing or even reversing such integration demand new attention on populism and it implications for IB and public policy: Brexit in the UK, Trumpism in the US, Fidesz in Hungary. Recent research in IB and public policy is ready. Devinney & Hartwell (2020) are providing IB researchers with populism typologies, including typologies suggesting that some populist parties remain in power by weakening business policy commitments critical to foreign investors. Rodrik (2018) has outlined other important public policy dynamics associated with populism raising red flags for multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their partners: barriers to immigration creating skilled labor shortages for MNEs; economic nationalism discriminating against MNEs seeking to participate in infrastructure investment projects; anti-elite tax and regulatory policies raising MNE costs and impairing MNE ability to exploit technological advantages compensating for inherent liabilities of foreignness.

This workshop aimed at deeper insight on these and other topics connecting emerging trends in populism and long-standing IB and public policy theories and evidence. Workshop topics related to questions such as the following:

  • How does populism influence public policy and, as a result, the internationalization of different firms: entry mode, location choice, mergers and acquisitions, ownership choice, partner selection, portfolio investment, financing, marketing.
  • What types of populist policy shifts translate into greater political uncertainty and liabilities of foreignness relevant to MNEs: elections, cabinet re-shuffles, extra-constitutional government changes.
  • How do populist policies change specific MNE operations: HQ-subsidiary relationships, foreign direct investment modes, global supply chains.
  • How do MNEs respond to populist policies: change political connections with local legislators, vary corporate political donations, address potentially corrupt payments to facilitate the importation of MNE goods and services.
  • How do populist policies change supranational arrangements important to MNEs: foreign exchange translation rates for MNEs active in Eurozone countries; transfer pricing by MNEs operating in the USMCA regional trading bloc.
  • What varieties of populism across the left-right partisan political spectrum are more or less threatening to MNEs: left-wing populism emphasizing state ownership of infrastructure industries; right-wing populism emphasizing private domestic ownership of the same.
  • How do populist public policies relevant to MNEs differ in industrialized democracies versus emerging-economies: Trumpist policies in the US; policies in Bolsanaro’s Brazil or Orban’s Hungary.
  • How has populism internationalized in ways that affect broader international organizations and civil society groups relevant to MNEs: organizations like the WTO and World Bank; groups like Amnesty International and Oxfam International.
  • How do varieties of populism affect large infrastructure investment projects typically led by MNEs: change the likelihood of joint venture with local companies or state agencies; change the willingness of banks to lend to such projects.
  • How does populism in a host country affect the composition of top managers sent there by MNEs to oversee key investment projects: top management educational background; top management experience; top management political connections.


A broad array of papers and proposals connected these questions and beyond were presented at the workshop.

Connection to the JIBP SI

Workshop organizers are also co-editing the JIBP SI on “Populism and International Business Research: Where We Are, Where We Should Be.” The SI submission deadline for manuscripts is March 15, 2022. The workshop in January served as an opportunity for scholarly conversation about research projects in development for submission to the SI. Paper acceptance or rejection for the workshop does not carry implications for SI review processes.

Contacts and further information

Thomas Lindner
Professor of International Management
University of Innsbruck
Karl-Rahner-Platz 3, 6020 Innsbruck
Phone: +43 512 507 9560
E-Mail: thomas.lindner@uibk.ac.at

Senior faculty members

  • Jonathan Doh (Villanova University)
  • Sinziana Dorobantu (New York University)
  • Igor Filatotchev (King’s Business School London)
  • Christopher Hartwell (ZHAW School of Management and Law)
  • Witold Henisz (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Barclay James (St. Mary’s University)
  • Thomas Lindner (University of Innsbruck)
  • Jakob Müllner (WU Vienna)
  • Jonas Puck (WU Vienna)
  • Arjen Slangen (KU Leuven)
  • Paul Vaaler (University of Minnesota)

Manuscript submission procedure and deadlines

  • October 31 (end-of-day): Submission of working papers to lindner@uibk.ac.at
  • November 15 (end-of-day): Notification of acceptance (Preference to young scholars)
    • The selection criteria include:
      • relevance to the conference topic
      • theoretical and methodological novelty and rigor
      • clarity of presentation
    • December 1: Final decision on in-person elements considering the Covid-19 situation
    • December 15: Registration deadline for in-person and online attendees; Submission deadline for revised working papers
    • January 10-14 winter conference
    • March 15, 2022: Submission to the Special issue of the Journal of International Business Policy


  • Devinney, T. M., & Hartwell, C. A. 2020. Varieties of populism. Global Strategy Journal, 10(1): 32-66.
  • Kobrin, S. 1987. Testing the bargaining hypothesis in the manufacturing sector in developing countries. International Organization, 41: 609-638.
  • Robinson, R. 1963. International business policy. New York, NY: Holt:  Rinehart & Winston.
  • Rodrik, D. 2018. Populism and the economics of globalization. Journal of International Business Policy, 1(1): 12-33.
  • Vernon, R. 1971. Sovereignty at bay: The multinational spread of U.S. enterprise. New York, NY: Basic Books.

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