The Rise of the Capital-state and Neo-nationalism: a Neo-Polanyian Perspective

Economic Sociology & Political Economy

by Oleksandr Svitych*

We are living in the times of the populist nationalist challenge to the liberal order. This challenge comes in many forms, including reactionary and progressive ones – from Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France to Jobbik in Hungary, to Manuel López Obrador’s MORENA in Mexico and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in Australia. Nationalist sentiments have surged anew both in the “Global North” – as symbolized by Trumpism and Brexit – and in the “Global South” – as represented by aggressive nationalisms in places like India and Brazil. If we are to provide a comprehensive understanding of the neo-nationalist phenomenon, we need to transcend the culture versus economy debate and look for deeper systemic causes. This is the role that a Polanyian perspective can fulfill.
The analysis of neo-nationalism cannot be detached entirely from the processes occurring in the capitalist global economy. Political economy gives the…

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The Rise of the Capital-State and Neo-Nationalism: A New Polanyian Moment


In this article, Oleksandr Svitych presents his new book, The Rise of the Capital-state and Neo-nationalism, third installment of the Global Populism series by Brill. By looking at cases such as Jobbik and Fidesz, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party, and progressive parties in South Korea, Svitych follows Polanyi and observes the effects of social marketization while answering the following questions: What is neo-nationalism, how can we contrast it, and what does it have to do with populism?

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The Rise of the Capital State and Neo-Nationalism


In Conversation with Dr Oleksandr Svitych




In this episode, we hold a book talk on Dr Svitych’s recently published book: The Rise of the Capital-State and Neo-Nationalism. He began by explaining the differentiating factors between neo-nationalism and populism, highlighting his argument that the rise of neo-nationalism is rooted in the rise of the capital state. Dr Svitych also talked about the importance of the ideas of Karl Polanyi in his book wherein he drew on and also changed and modified Polanyi’s ideas to structure his argument. The conversation then moved on to discussing the effects of the pandemic and how neo-nationalism may pan out in the post-pandemic future. Lastly, he concludes by talking about the possibilities of the way forward and suggestions as to how the rise of neo-nationalism can be stopped.

About the Guest

Dr Oleksandr Svitych is an associate professor…

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“Law and Order” – A Case of Displacement

What do Bolsonaro, Trump, Orbán, and Duterte have in common? Scapegoats need familiar faces - be it young gangsters in Brazil, illegal Mexican migrants in the US, the Jews and Gypsies in Hungary, or drug dealers in the Philippines. The "law and order" politics effectively displaces attention away from the real sources of socio-economic grievances. …

Continue reading “Law and Order” – A Case of Displacement