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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

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The workshop is expected to be an on-campus, in-person event with opportunities to join online if travel restrictions due to the current pandemic or other factors so require.

Preliminary Conference Program (all times in CET).

  • January 9: Arrival in Vienna at conference hotel (Vienna Bassena Hotel, Messestraße 2, 1020 Wien; 5 minute walk to conference venue)
    • 19:00 Welcome dinner (location tbc)
  • January 10: Conference day 1 at WU Vienna (Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Wien, Building D1, Room D1.1.078; link for online participation).
    • 09:00-10:00 Arrival and coffee in department lounge (5th floor D1 building)
    • 10:00-10:30 Workshop opening
    • 10:30-11:30 Paper presentation and discussion (01): Barclay James et al. “Political Populism, Partisanship, and Investment Risk in Europe” Discussant: Igor Filatotchev
    • 11:30-12:30 Paper presentation and discussion (02): Harald Puhr et al. “Beyond Institutional Structures: A Grassroots Concept and Measure for Socio-Political Risk Using Google Trends” Discussant: Witold Henisz
    • 12:30-14:00 Lunch break (at Das Glashaus restaurant on WU Campus)
    • 14:00-15:00 Paper presentation and discussion (03): Srividya Jandhyala et al. “Economic Nationalism and the Home Court Advantage” Discussant: Arjen Slangen
    • 15:30-17:00 Panel on conceptualizing and measuring populism Panel chair and primary discussant: Christopher Hartwell Lead-in paper presentation (10): Matt Raskovic et al. “Populism as a Critical Institution: A Social Psychology Framework”
    • 19:00 Dinner (location tbc)
  • January 11: Conference day 2 at WU Vienna (Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Wien, Building D1, Room TC.4.12; link for online participation).
    • 09:00-10:00 Arrival and coffee in department lounge (5th floor D1 building)
    • 10:00-11:00 Paper presentation and discussion (04): Douglas Dow et al. (title to be confirmed) Discussant: Jonas Puck
    • 11:00-12:00 Paper presentation and discussion (05): Angel Saz-Carranza et al. “Nationalism, Firm Place Identity, and Firm Value: Evidence from the Catalan Secession Crisis” Discussant: Paul Vaaler
    • 12:00-13:30 Lunch break (at Das Campus restaurant on WU Campus)
    • 13:30-14:30 Paper presentation and discussion (06): Michael Wolfesberger et al. “Political Risk Changes and Restructuring: The Constraining Influence of Complexity” Discussant: Barclay James
    • 15:00-16:30 Panel on political polarization Panel chair: Sinziana Dorobantu
    • 16:30-17:00 Closing of WU sessions
    • 19:00 Dinner (location tbc)
  • January 12: Travel day from Vienna to Innsbruck (direct hourly train link)
    • Suggested train: Departure 10:30am from Vienna Central Station
    • Arrival at Innsbruck conference hotel (Hotel Grauer Bär, Universitätsstraße 5-7, 6020 Innsbruck; 5 minutes walking from conference venue)
    • 19:00 Welcome dinner (location tbc)
  • January 13: Conference day 1 at University of Innsbruck (Universitätsstraße 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Room Fakultätssitzungssaal (o-3.36); link for online participation).
    • 09:00-10:00 Arrival and coffee at SOWI mensa (ground floor SOWI Campus)
    • 10:00-10:30 Innsbruck opening and welcome
    • 10:30-11:30 Paper presentation and discussion (07): Witold Henisz et al. (title tbc) Discussant: Igor Filatotchev
    • 11:30-12:30 Paper presentation and discussion (08): Vera Kunczer et al. “Public Sentiment and International Alliance Performance: The Role of Anti-Foreigner Sentiments” Discussant: Jonathan Doh
    • 12:30-14:00 Lunch break (location tbc)
    • 14:00-15:00 Paper presentation and discussion (09): Dorottya Sallai et al. “When do Populist Governments Target Foreign MNEs? Evidence from East Central Europe” Discussant: Jakob Müllner
    • 15:30-17:00 Panel on theory and measurement on the frontline of IB and political science research Panel chairs: Jakob Müllner and Paul Vaaler
    • 19:00 dinner (location tbc)
  • January 14: Conference day 2 at University of Innsbruck (Universitätsstraße 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Room Fakultätssitzungssaal (o-3.36); link for online participation).
    • 09:00-10:00 Arrival and coffee at SOWI mensa (ground floor SOWI Campus)
    • 10:00-11:00 Paper presentation and discussion (13): Aleksi Eerola et al. “Responsible Blockholders, CEOs, and Tax-Motivated International Relocations of Corporate Headquarters: A Social Identity Perspective” Discussant: Christopher Hartwell
    • 11:00-12:00 paper presentation and discussion (11): Markus Liebmann et al. “Populism and FDI” Discussant: Sinziana Dorobantu
    • 12:00-13:30 Lunch break (location tbc)
    • 13:30-14:30 Paper presentation and discussion: Jakob Müllner et al. “Ballot Boost or Bust? Abnormal Returns during US presidential Elections” Discussant: Paul Vaaler
    • 15:00-16:30 Panel: Publishing at the International Business/International Political Economy Frontier Panel chair: Jonathan Doh
    • 16:30-17:00 Closing session
    • 19:00 closing dinner (location tbc)
  • January 15: Departure Day

Note: Conference participants may join for pre-conference activities in Vienna or post-conference activities in Innsbruck. For details, please reach out to thomas.lindner@uibk.ac.at.

Conference Organizers

Conference Topic and Rationale

We invite 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 is 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 seeks proposals and working papers for presentation addressing a broad range of populism and IB/public policy topics. The workshop supports a forthcoming special issue (SI) of the Journal of International Business Policy (JIBP) co-edited by workshop senior faculty (call for papers). The winter conference in January 2022 is 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 reversion 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 seeks deeper insight on these and other topics connecting emerging trends in populism and long-standing IB and public policy theories and evidence. Those workshop topics could address questions such as the following:

  • How does populism influence public policy and, as a result, the internationalization of different firms: entry mode, location choice, M&A, 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.


These questions are merely representative. We seek a broad array of papers and proposals for presentation 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 will serve 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.

Workshop Expenses and Accommodations

There is no attendance fee for the workshop, but registration is required. In order to register, please contact Thomas Lindner under thomas.lindner@uibk.ac.at. The deadline for registration is December 15, 2021. Refreshments will be provided to all in-person attendees, accommodation and breakfast/lunches/dinners are to be covered by in-person attendees (invited senior faculty excepted). Workshop organizers can support in-person attendees with finding and booking hotels and transportation. In-person attendees are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Those wishing to attend the workshop via online technologies (Zoom) will be given a link for specific sessions at both WU and UI. Registration is still required for online attendees.

Attendees can choose to participate in only part of the workshop, but are encouraged to attend the full workshop to benefit from extended opportunities to meet and learn from other attendees, including graduate students, junior faculty, and senior faculty.   

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 (list to be extended):

  • 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)
  • Xavier Martin (Tilburg University)
  • 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 thomas.lindner@uibk.ac.at
  • November 15 (end-of-day): Notification of acceptance (Preference to young scholars)
    • relevance to the conference topic
    • theoretical and methodological novelty and rigor
    • clarity of presentation
    • The selection criteria include:
  • December 1: Final decision on in-person elements considering the Covid-19 situation
  • December 15: Registration deadline for in-person and online attendees
  • 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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