ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Comparing Strategies and Impact

Economic Nationalism in the US and India

The current governments of the United States (US) and India are both promoting economic nationalism strongly. In this article, based on our long-term ethnographic research in both countries, we compare the economic nationalist policies of the two and how these are related to the everyday lives of workers. Economic nationalist rhetoric by the leaders of both nations similarly invokes symbolism originating with independence from British colonialism (almost two centuries apart) and both the US and India offer marginalised workforces to produce the “American-made” or
“Indian-made” goods. There are differences, however, in the economic nationalist strategies of the two nations. The US emphasises domestic consumption and lowered tax incentives for its businesses to remain in or return to the US, while the Indian government’s strategy has been to attract multinational corporations based in other countries to produce goods in India, promising a newly trained workforce through the associated Skill India programme. National branding features prominently in the economic nationalism of both countries, but for different sets of consumers. After illustrating these points of comparison, we discuss the Boeing Corporation’s use of economic nationalist policies in both countries and the role of social media in promoting both administrations’ power and economic nationalist agenda.

Symbols of Economic Nationalism

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