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Photo: “New York Stock Exchange 20170311“, by Suicasmo, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Hue modified from the original

Scheiring, Gábor. “National Bourgeoisie and Economic Nationalism.” In The Retreat of Liberal Democracy, pp. 217-260. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020.


This chapter analyses the countermovement of the national bourgeoisie, drawing on a new database comprising information about its composition and political orientation. Political and co-opted capitalists, very often at the centre of media attention, make up only one part of the national capitalists with right-wing affiliation. The chapter identifies the most crucial factions within the national capitalist class based on their means of wealth accumulation and their relationship to politics: political capitalists, committed conservatives, emerging capitalists, co-opted capitalists and passive capitalists. The chapter emphasises the role of sector-specific accumulation strategies and highlights the role of the fierce rivalry between national and transnational capital. This rivalry engendered the rise of economic nationalism and rendered national capitalists in the non-tech sectors of the economy open to anti-democratic interventions.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.