The Lure of Economic Nationalism

The Lure of Economic Nationalism

Beyond Zero Sum

By Kenneth A. Reinert

The Lure of Economic Nationalism addresses the continued appeal of economic nationalism, placing it in both historical and contemporary contexts. It also considers its alternative, a rules-based, multilateral trading system.The book argues that going beyond zero-sum outcomes is better suited to address current problems, including rising tides of ethnonationalism and even pandemics.

PDF, 250 Pages


March 2023

£25.00, $40.00

EPUB, 250 Pages


March 2023

£25.00, $40.00

  • About This Book
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

The Lure of Economic Nationalism addresses an important topic, namely, the continued appeal of economic nationalism. It places economic nationalism in both historical and contemporary contexts. It begins with a historical consideration of mercantilism and the writings of Friedrich List, considering both from multiple perspectives in economic history and policy and international relations. It then turns to the political psychology of zero-sum thinking, its role as a heuristic device but also its significant limitations.

The book considers both the aggressive trade policy of the Trump Administration in the United States and the Brexit process in the United Kingdom. It also advocates for the alternative to economic nationalism in the form of a rules-based, multilateral trading system and the World Trade Organization. It argues that going beyond zero-sum outcomes is better suited to address current problems. It considers the rising tides of ethnonationalism and the alternative of civic nationalism. It even addresses economic nationalism in the recent COVID-19 pandemic and multilateral approaches to pandemic preparedness. 

The Lure of Economic Nationalism is written in an accessible manner and draws deeply from research in economics and political science. It will be of interest to policymakers, economists, political scientists and to the informed public.


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Author Information

Kenneth A. Reinert is Professor of Public Policy at the Schar School of Policy and Government of George Mason University. He is the author of An Introduction to International Economics: New Perspectives on the World Economy (2012, 2020) and No Small Hope: Towards the Universal Provision of Basic Goods (2018).


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Table of Contents

1. Albert Hirschman’s Forgotten Book; 2. Power and Plenty; 3. Industry and War; 4. Zero Sum Thinking; 5. Battleground WTO; 6. The Ethnicity Trap; 7. The Brexit Blunder; 8. Pandemic Nationalism; 9. Beyond Zero Sum.


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