Friedrich list and the political economy of the nation-state

David Levi-Faur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


In an era of global changes the fate of the nation-state is of crucial importance for every student of political economy. This much is indeed reflected in the wide attention recently paid to the implications of globalization on the nation-state. Unfortunately, the point of view of the political economy of nationalism is largely unexplored in this discussion. Thus, this article discusses Friedrich List’s political economy in order to shed light on the economic role of the state. List is recognized today worldwide as one of the most influential trade theorists and as one of the first to popularize the theory of ‘infant industries’. Yet this recognition only partly reflects his significance as a political economist. The main assertion of this article is that in order to discuss the fate of the nation-state we must first be able to clarify its economic roles. This, in turn, may lead US to the conclusion that current assertions concerning the so-called ‘diminishing autonomy of the state’ as well as the ‘imperative of globalization’ are over-stressed under the influence of laissez-faire conceptions of political economy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)154-178
Number of pages25
JournalReview of International Political Economy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic nationalism
  • Friedrich List
  • Mercantilism
  • Nation-state
  • Political economy


Dive into the research topics of 'Friedrich list and the political economy of the nation-state'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this