Responding to the China Challenge in Techno-Nationalism: Divergence between Germany and the United States

Sean Kenji Starrs*, Julian Germann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

President Xi Jinping has made clear that the ‘Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation’ will involve world-leading competitiveness: his ‘Made in China 2025’ plan identifies 10 core sectors of advanced technology. This article investigates how elites in the United States and Germany have responded to this ‘China challenge’, a burgeoning ‘techno-nationalist’ phase of globalization. First, the article explores the divergent state responses of the USA and Germany: while both national elites are concerned, the reaction of the US has been far more confrontational. It then tries to explain this striking contrast in terms of the disparate domestic constituents. The US since Trump has aligned electoral grievances around manufacturing job losses with the interests of the national security establishment. In contrast, German labour has fared better in globalization, and the German state has not been able to override the interests of German capital in the way that the US has. Thus, the authors offer an account of how Germany and the US have responded differently to the China challenge, as well as explaining why with reference to the divergent structural conditions and class interests. The article ends by speculating that ‘techno-nationalism’ will only accelerate in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1122
Number of pages1146
JournalDEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE
Volume52
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

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