Economic nationalisms in a world on fire: An introduction
In a time when many national governments are rhetorically, if not practically, turning away from global collaboration and emphasizing economic nationalisms, understood here as a plurality of historically and politically contextualized policies, the authors in this thematic issue explore the possible contributions of comparative ethnographic analyses of economic nationalisms to interdisciplinary, transnational analyses. In this introduction to the thematic section, the editors note the turn to economic nationalisms in the current context of global crises, review the literature on economic nationalisms, and illustrate the strong political and historical variations in economic nationalisms within even the same nation, using India as an example. The three ethnographic articles in this thematic section are discussed in relation to each other. They offer examples from Turkey, Italy, Guatemala and the U.S., with a shared focus on economic nationalisms and the reliance on the labor of transnational migrants displaced by war, land grabs, and climate change even as those vital contributors to national economies are denied cultural and national citizenship – an irony rendered all the more visible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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