Contesting Financial Nationalism in the Globalization Era

Authors: Szu-Yun Hsu*, University of British Columbia
Topics: Economic Geography, Political Geography, Asia
Keywords: financial nationalism, globalization, neoliberalization, Taiwan
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Galerie 3, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Literature on the restructuring of nation-state in the globalization era has been fruitful, with the reconfiguration of territoriality, rescaling of sovereign space, and re-assemblage of materiality being extensively explored. Deploying the notion of “financial nationalism,” this paper seeks to contribute to the discussion by interrogating the intrinsic dynamics between nationalist appeals and financial re/de-regulation in Taiwan. Situating in the growing economic relationship between Taiwan and China against their intensified geopolitical tensions at the turn of the 21st century, my analysis begins with illustrating the globalization agenda proposed by the Taiwan state as the key to tackle geopolitical and geoeconomic predicaments it faced. It then elucidates how such a governing mechanism set off contestation between revived protectionist financial nationalism and the surging neoliberal financial nationalism. While the former emphasized tight control over cross-border capital flows, the latter, paradoxically, advocated for deregulation of financial capital – especially for oversea Taiwanese entrepreneurs – as a way to revitalize its national economy. How distinctive advocacies appropriate nationalist and populist discourses at contingent historical moments will be critically scrutinized. Instead of conceiving nationalism as a mere form of identity politics, this paper demonstrates that nationalism in the globalization era can be better understood as a materially constrained and enabling project, articulating particular notions of “national economy,” reworking the meaning of its regulatory borders, and ultimately, cultivating neoliberalization in Taiwan.

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